He’s already got two Grammy Awards to his name, but former US President Barack Obama just scored another extremely unlikely milestone in his even more unlikely musical career: a debut birth on the Billboard charts.
Turns out 44 has, for the very first time, made an appearance on the official Billboard charts, via the Hot R&B Songs category of all places.
Allow us to explain.
Lin-Manuel Miranda has been, for the past little while, releasing a series of remixed tunes from the Hamilton soundtrack entitled Hamildrops; a charity-first initiative aimed at raising money for a variety of nonprofits.
The final release in the series, a remix of One Last Time, features Obama reciting a passage from George Washington‘s Farewell Address. Lead vocalist on the track Christopher Jackson filled the role of Washington in the smash-hit musical’s original run.
The single dropped just before Christmas on December 22nd, and in the week-and-a-bit since then has garnered some 307,000 on-demand streams and 9,000 paid downloads in the United States.
Those numbers are enough to score the track a spot at #22 on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart for the week ending January 5th, putting it above two John Legend songs and a track from Ella Mai.
Much as you’d expect any track from the Hamilton soundtrack to do, even a remixed version, the song fairly bangs.
You wouldn’t really expect anything less from goddamned former US President Barack Obama though, would you.
The Obama’s relationship with Hamilton goes back to its very early roots, as it were. Lin-Manuel Miranda was invited to the Obama White House in 2009 to perform music from his then-hit musical In the Heights. Instead, he performed an early version of Hamilton‘s show-opening number Alexander Hamilton, accompanied by not much more than a piano and some very Presidential clicks.
And those of you keeping score at home, Obama’s two Grammy Awards? Both in the Best Spoken Word Album category. One in 2006 for the audiobook of Dreams from My Father, one in 2008 for the audiobook of The Audacity of Hope.
Now you know.