Even world leaders have their favorite bands, artists and musical groups. How else would they manage to survive through the ongoing onslaught that is world politics? The question that remains, however, is just how much these world leaders favor their preferred musicians.
Barack Obama & Stevie Wonder. The relationship between President Obama and the Motown wonder Stevie Wonder goes back before Obama was even president yet, however it really came to light when Obama was running for reelection in 2012. The President had, for some time, exited the stage of his campaign rallies to the tune of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” but at one specific rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, Stevie Wonder surprised the president by showing up to sing the song in person. I guess the question here is, how much did this musician favor President Obama? My guess is, it’s mutual.
Angela Merkel & The Beatles. It is reported that a young Angela bought her first Beatles record, ‘Yellow Submarine’, during a trip to Moscow. “Back then I liked listening to music by the Beatles and the Stones or songs like ‘Je t’aime’ and ‘Bridge over Troubled Water,'” she said. “Although I cannot memorize every line, I like to hear Bruce Springsteen and the Beatles.” Alas, she did not involve Hamburg’s original Fab Four in her political campaign, so we must conclude that like any true career woman, she’s too busy running her country to bother with fun things like listening to the Beatles any more.
Vladimir Putin & Nikolai Rastorguyev. Although Putin worked at a school radio station, where he played music by the Beatles and other Western rock bands, his favorite musical artist remains a true Russian: Nikolai Rastorguyev, the uniform-bedecked lead singer of the band Lyube. The group sings songs that are all in a very patriotic vein, including Russian folk songs, Russian chanson, and Soviet military songs. Never fear, for they are non-violent songs, mostly about battles and soldier-girl relationships, not promoting war. As a matter of fact, Putin favors this Lyube so highly that four years ago, Rastorguyev, a ruling Russia party member, was appointed a member of the Russian lower house of parliament, via mandate after a Parliament seat opened up. How’s that for playing favorites; now Rastorguyev has the power necessary to enact the educational and cultural programs he is involved in.
David Cameron & Mumford & Sons. The credit for making Mumford & Sons Cameron’s favorite band goes to the joint efforts of Johnny Marr and Morrissey and President Obama. Previously, Cameron called the Smiths his favorite band, but after lead guitarist Johnny Marr of The Smiths tweeted to the Prime Minister in 2010: “David Cameron, stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don’t. I forbid you to like it.” So Cameron took it upon himself to invite Mumford & Sons, whose album “Babel” is Cameron’s favorite for Christmas time, to play at the White House. How did the Prime Minister manage to invite a band to play at the President’s house instead of his own? Well, Cameron explained, “When Barack Obama said, ‘We’re going to have a bit of a party for you at the White House when you visit, who do you want to be playing there?’ I said, ‘Well, there’s this small band that I’m quite keen on and my wife’s quite keen on, I’m not sure you will have heard of them, they’re called Mumford And Sons’.”
Francois Hollande & Pierre Yves Bocquet. Whether he listened to Bocquet before he hired the expert gangsta rapper to write his speeches we’re not sure, but Hollande is definitely picking a favorite when he appointed Bocquet to make his boring speeches more exciting. As a graduate of France’s top school for civil servants, Bocquet is more than qualified to help better Hollande’s awful approval ratings while at the same time critiquing rap music under the guise “Pierre Evil.” Let us hope that as chief speechwriter Bocquet will use his “Evil” alter-ego for the benefit of the man who chose him. As he says himself, “The only person who writes speeches for Francois Hollande is Francois Hollande, my role is just to help him prepare.”