First lady Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is celebrating her 50th birthday Jan. 17 with a dance party Saturday night at the White House. The Root offers up a playlist.

‘I’m Every Woman,’ Whitney Houston

Because the first lady truly does represent every woman.

‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered,’ Stevie Wonder

It was no accident that the Obama team selected the song for the president’s first victory speech. It’s a musical favorite of the Obamas that has a qualitative message.

‘Let’s Stay Together,’ Al Green

When the commander in chief made his musical debut at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, it was clear why Michelle Obama said, “I do.”


‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now,’ McFadden & Whitehead

Popular during Michelle Obama’s formidable years in high school, this song could be an anthem for the first family.


‘Square Biz,’ Teena Marie

We imagine that besides being a great dance tune, this is the message any college date received from Michelle Obama.


‘Rockit,’ Herbie Hancock

Released as a single in 1983 as part of the album Future Shock, this song represents the trajectory of Michelle Obama’s life.


‘Follow Me,’ Aly Us

One of the key lyrics to this popular ’90s house track is: “Follow me/Why don't you follow me to a place where we can be free/Come with me over there/Let's put an end to racial hatred and there's love to share.”


‘Flawless,’ Beyoncé

The single from the artist’s fifth studio album says it all about the first lady.