Home Politics Politics Lists

President Obama Riffs on Rock Stars

Rounding up the president’s comments on some of our most popular entertainers

Obama on Musicians

Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

Though Mitt Romney has made a pilgrimage to the home of that great Michigander, Kid Rock, and has expressed his appreciation for the alternative stylings of the Killers (and their frontman Brandon Flowers, a fellow Mormon frontman), it's safe to say that if the election were decided based on the contents of the candidates' iPods, President Obama would pull an electoral sweep. During his first term the president has been quoted on the musical merits of a wide range of performers, from Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen to Nicki Minaj and the late Donna Summer. He also sang a bit of Al Green, flawlessly. Click through to read what our Audiophile in Chief had to say about 13 famous musicians.     

Bob Dylan

Fred Tanneau/AFP/GettyImages

Bob Dylan

"There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music."

President Obama at a White House ceremony awarding the singer the Presidential Medal of Freedom on May 29th, 2012.

Bruce Springsteen

Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Bruce Springsteen

"On a day like this I remember, I'm the president, but he's the Boss."

President Obama at a White House ceremony for 2009 Kennedy Center honorees on December 6th, 2009.

Michael Jackson

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Michael Jackson

 

"I think that Michael Jackson will go down in history as one of our greatest entertainers. I grew up on his music. I still have all his stuff on my iPod. I think that his brilliance as a performer also was paired with a tragic and in many ways sad personal life. But I'm glad to see that he is being remembered primarily for the great joy that he brought to a lot of people through his extraordinary gifts as an entertainer."

President Obama in an interview with The Associated Press in July 2009.

Mick Jagger

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Mick Jagger

 

"It was really nice to watch him just trying to work through the numbers with the house band, treating them with respect, and caring about the music."

President Obama in an interview with Rolling Stone after a White House celebration of the blues featuring Buddy Guy, B.B. King and others.

Johnny Cash

David Redfern/Redferns

Johnny Cash

"He was really singing our song when he sang, 'I've been everywhere, man.'"

President Obama at a White House celebration of country music on November 21st, 2011.

Jay-Z

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Jay-Z

"His story is what 'Made in America' means."

President Obama in a pre-recorded video screened at the Budweiser Made in America festival in Philadelphia on September 1st.

Nicki Minaj

Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Nicki Minaj

"She likes to play different characters. So I don't know what's going on there . . . I don't think [daughters Sasha and Malia] really listen to Nicki Minaj that much. But let's face it, they are now hipper than me. There's a certain point where your kids get old enough where they're hipper than you are."

President Obama in an interview in September with Orlando radio station Power 95.3 on Minaj's rap claiming "I'm a Republican, voting for Mitt Romney."

Donna Summer

Fotos International/Getty Images

Donna Summer

"Her voice was unforgettable, and the music industry has lost a legend far too soon."

Official statement from President Obama following the singer's death in May.

Young Jeezy

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Young Jeezy

"In my first term, I sang Al Green. In my second term, I'm going with Young Jeezy."

President Obama at the White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 28th.

BB King

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

The Blues

"As we celebrate Black History Month, the blues reminds us that we've been through tougher times before."

President Obama at a White House celebration of the blues on February 22nd.

Hank Williams

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Country Music

"I've hopped on planes to big cities. I've ridden buses through small towns. And along the way, I've gained an appreciation for just how much country music means to so many Americans."

President Obama at a White House celebration of country music on November 21st, 2011