If Michelle Obama wins a Grammy, she’ll be in good White House company

Michelle Obama is a nominee for the spoken-word Grammy for her memoir "Becoming."
(Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

Much to the chagrin of Michelle Obama fans, the former first lady likely won’t be following in her husband’s presidential footsteps. But she might join him with another distinction.

The former FLOTUS was nominated for a Grammy for spoken-word album on Wednesday for the audiobook version of “Becoming,” her 2018 smash hit memoir about life as a black woman in America and her days in the White House.

If she wins, she’ll join several other former White House occupants and Grammy winners, all of whom have triumphed in the spoken-word category. Barack Obama won a Grammy in 2006 for his audiobook recording of “Dreams From My Father” and another in 2008 for “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.”

Former President Bill Clinton nabbed his first Grammy in 2004, in the category of spoken-word album for children, for his narration of the book “Wolf Tracks and Peter and the Wolf.” Clinton also earned a 2005 win for the audiobook of his memoir “My Life” and nominations in 2007 and 2012 for “Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World” and “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy,” respectively.

Jimmy Carter is also a multi-Grammy-winning former president, who picked up spoken-word awards for “Faith: A Journey for All” in 2019, “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety” in 2016 and “Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis” in 2007.

Carter’s presidential predecessors John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon were also nominated: Kennedy in 1964 for spoken-word recording for “The Kennedy Wit” and Nixon in 1978, also for spoken-word recording, for “The Nixon Interviews With David Frost.”


James Baldwin wrote, “No one can possibly know what is about to happen: it is happening, each time, for the first time, for the only time.”

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders was nominated in 2017 for “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In” and Elizabeth Warren in 2014 for “A Fighting Chance,” both for the spoken-word category.

Former First Lady and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took home a Grammy in 1997 for “It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us” and was nominated in 2003 for “Living History.”

After Michelle Obama’s nomination was revealed, Clinton took to Twitter Thursday to congratulate her friend and successor: “A beautiful story, well-told (and well-spoken!),” Clinton wrote, referring to “Becoming.”

Competing with Michelle Obama for the Grammy is filmmaker John Waters for “Mr. Know-It-All”, music composer Eric Alexandrakis for “I.V. Catatonia: 20 Years As A Two-Time Cancer Survivor,” poet and playwright Sekou Andrews & the String Theory for an album of the same title and Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys for “Beastie Boys Book.”

Grammy winners will be announced Jan. 26 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

One made teen bedroom goth-pop with their sib, one hustled for years coast-to-coast, one went viral on TikTok with a country old. Together, they’re remaking the Grammys.