Former U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he leaves the Sagrada Familia, April 28, 2023, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, landed last night in Barcelona to attend the Bruce Springsteen concert. Obama visits Barcelona, but tomorrow, April 29th, he leaves Barcelona to attend a series of European conferences starting in Zurich (Germany). The former first lady will stay one more day, according to sources familiar with the agenda.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he leaves the Sagrada Familia, April 28, 2023, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Photo by Photo By David Zorrakino/Europa Press via Getty Images.

Burna Boy and Ayra Starr Earn Spots on Barack Obama's 2023 Summer Playlist

In a tradition that has now become annual, former U.S. President Barack Obama shared a list of his favorite songs ahead of the summer each year.

Barack Obama, the former U.S. president, delighted music enthusiasts worldwide by sharing his much-anticipated annual summer playlist, a curated selection of over 40 songs that have been resonating with him throughout the year. On July 20, 2023, Obama took to social media platforms to unveil the compilation, stating that it is his tradition to share his favorite tunes each summer, blending both classic hits and contemporary releases.

Kicking off the playlist is the captivating collaboration of J Hus and Drake in their latest single "Who Told You," which hit the airwaves just the previous month and appears on J Hus’s new album Beautiful and Brutal Yard. Notably, this marks J Hus's return since his highly acclaimed 2020 album, "Big Conspiracy."

Among the international artists featured on Obama's playlist are Nigerian sensations Burna Boy and Ayra Starr. It has become customary for Afrobeats hits to make an appearance on the former president's yearly selections, and this year is no exception. Burna Boy, the Grammy-winning superstar, secured a spot with his latest record, "Sittin' On Top Of The World," while Ayra Starr's 2023 release, "Sability," also garnered well-deserved recognition. Both artists have previously found themselves on Obama's playlists, showcasing the global appeal of Nigerian music. Burna Boy's "Last Last" made the cut in 2022, and Ayra Starr's "Rush" featured on Obama's 2022 end-of-the-year playlist.

The inclusion of Nigerian artists on Obama's playlists attests to the increasing prominence of Afrobeats on the global music stage. Wizkid, Rema, and Tems are among the other Nigerian talents who have previously earned a spot on Obama's revered compilations.

Addressing speculation regarding the curation process, Obama humorously defended himself during an interview with Hasan Minhaj. He made it clear that the selection was truly his own, dismissing the notion that a young intern assisted in choosing the latest chart-toppers. "No, man! It’s on my iPad right now!" he exclaimed, setting the record straight.

Besides the Nigerian representation, Obama's playlist boasts an eclectic mix of artists, spanning various genres and eras. Some of the notable tracks featured this season include those from artists like SZA, Tupac Shakur, Bob Dylan, Burna Boy, J Hus, and Ice Spice, ensuring that there's something for every music enthusiast to enjoy.