Michelle Obama announces Gayle King, Stephen Colbert and more guests for her book tour

Former First Lady Michelle Obama during a Dec. 19 interview for her book, “Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama,” at Barclays Center in New York.
(Frank Franklin II / AP)

Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Rachael Ray and Gayle King are among the moderators of the last leg of Michelle Obama’s months-long book tour, which is coming to a close this month.

The celebrities will join the former first lady as she tours behind her book “Becoming.” The memoir quickly became the bestselling book of 2018, and is still racking up impressive sales — as of Friday morning it was No. 5 on Amazon’s sales chart.

Events promoter Live Nation and Obama’s publisher Crown, a Penguin Random House imprint, announced the lineup of moderators in a news release on Wednesday.


The final leg of Obama’s tour starts on March 13 in St. Paul, Minn., where Obama will be joined by radio journalist Michele Norris. The following day, Obama will visit Milwaukee for an appearance moderated by talk show host Conan O’Brien.

“Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts will join Obama for two appearances in Canada, while talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will moderate an event in Tacoma, Wash.

Rachael Ray is scheduled to appear with Obama in Copenhagen, one of six European stops on the tour. An appearance in London will be moderated by Stephen Colbert, who will also join Obama for her last tour date in Nashville on May 12.

Other hosts slated to appear with Obama include Carla Hall, Sam Kass, Phoebe Robinson, Isha Sesay, Valerie Jarrett, Jessica Williams and Gayle King.

Obama initially went on tour behind “Becoming” last November, appearing at stadiums and other large venues. Tickets to her appearances typically sold out quickly, including a stop at the Forum in Los Angeles moderated by actress Tracee Ellis Ross.

In addition to becoming a quick bestseller, “Becoming” earned positive reviews from critics. In The Times, reviewer Rebecca Carroll wrote, “In ‘Becoming,’ Obama doesn’t write so much as talks to her readers as she always has to a nation that fell in love with her — in clear, frank and forthcoming terms, as a black woman in America with a bridge called her back and a wisdom to lay bare.”


“Becoming” was announced last month as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest, joining books such as Michael Lewis’ “The Fifth Risk” and Susan Orlean’s “The Library Book.”

This leg of Obama’s book tour won’t take her to Los Angeles, but she will be in the city in May to visit high school students at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. That appearance is invitation-only, but will be live streamed.