Lil Nas X, Mitski, Lizzo and More: Barack Obama’s 2021 Songs of the Year Are Very On-Trend

As per tradition, Barack Obama has closed out the year with his annual picks of his favorite songs, with tracks by Lil Nas X, Mitski, Brandi Carlile, and Lizzo among those that caught the former president’s ear in 2021. 

“I’ve always enjoyed listening to a wide variety of music, so it’s no surprise that I listened to a little bit of everything this year,” Obama said of this year’s list. “I hope you find a new artist or song to add to your own playlist.”

Obama’s Favorite Music of 2021 — not to be confused with his summer playlist — includes Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” Mitski’s “The Only Heartbreaker,” Carlile’s “Broken Horses,” and Lizzo’s “Rumors” with Cardi B.

Obama’s playlists are usually diverse genre-wise and 2021’s is no exception, with the former prez handpicking songs from the pop world (Yebba’s “Boomerang”), reggaeton (Aventura and Bad Bunny’s “Volví”), hip-hop (Nas’ “Nobody” with Lauryn Hill, Isaiah Rashad’s “Headshots”), and a surprisingly heavy helping of indie rock, with Parquet Courts, Courtney Barnett, the War on Drugs, and Wye Oak all on the list.

Obama’s picks also have significant overlap with Rolling Stone’s list of the 50 Best Songs of 2021, including “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” “The Only Heartbreaker,” “Volví,” MO3 and Morray’s “In My Blood,” Parquet Courts’ “Walking at a Downtown Pace,” and Yotuel Romero, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Osorbo, Eliécer “El Funky” Márquez, and Gente de Zona’s “Patria y Vida.”


The former president previously shared his top books and movies of the year. Check out Obama’s Favorite Music of 2021 playlist below:

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