Obama shares favourite songs of 2018 including Janelle Monae, The Carters, Hozier and Cardi B, but no Kanye West

Former US president featured a mix of well known and more obscure artists in his annual end-of-year list

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Friday 28 December 2018 16:39
Barack Obama has listed his favourite songs of the year
Barack Obama has listed his favourite songs of the year

Barack Obama has shared his favourite songs of the past year, in what has become a favourite annual tradition of the former US president.

Posting on his official Facebook page, Obama revealed his top songs, books and films of 2018, explaining: “It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved.

“It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before.”

Among his favourite songs were popular tracks such as “Apes**t” by The Carters (Beyonce and Jay-Z), “I Like It” by Cardi B, “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monae, and “My Own Thing” by Chance the Rapper ft Joey Purp.

Songs listeners may be less familiar with include “Disco Yes” by 23-year-old British musician and producer Tom Misch, ft Poppy Ajudah, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” by country singer Ashley McBryde, and ”Bad Bad News” by Leon Bridges.

See the full list, below:

“Apes••t” by The Carters

“Bad Bad News” by Leon Bridges

“Could’ve Been” by H.E.R. (feat. Bryson Tiller)

“Disco Yes” by Tom Misch (feat. Poppy Ajudha)

“Ekombe” by Jupiter & Okwess

“Every Time I Hear that Song” by Brandi Carlile

“Girl Goin’ Nowhere” by Ashley McBryde

“Historia De Un Amor” by Tonina (feat. Javier Limón and Tali Rubinstein)

“I Like It” by Cardi B (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin)

“Kevin’s Heart” by J. Cole

“King for a Day” by Anderson East

“Love Lies” by Khalid & Normani

“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe

“Mary Don’t You Weep” (Piano & A Microphone 1983 Version) by Prince

“My Own Thing” by Chance the Rapper (feat. Joey Purp)

“Need a Little Time” by Courtney Barnett

“Nina Cried Power” by Hozier (feat. Mavis Staples)

“Nterini” by Fatoumata Diawara

“One Trick Ponies” by Kurt Vile

“Turnin’ Me Up” by BJ the Chicago Kid

“Wait by the River” by Lord Huron

“Wow Freestyle” by Jay Rock (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

Obama added: “And in honour of one of the great jazz singers of all time, who died this year, a classic album: The Great American Songbook by Nancy Wilson.”

Listen to all the songs in our playlist, below:


Conspicuously absent from Obama’s list was rapper and producer Kanye West, who released his eighth album Ye earlier this year. The pair have a fraught relationship which first flared up in 2012, when the then-recently re-elected president branded West a “jackass” for his infamous stage-crashing of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Since then, West has been openly critical of Obama and expressed support for current president Donald Trump on several occasions, to much controversy.

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