Leon Bridges and Barack Obama — you know, the President of the freaking United States of America — go way back. Well, maybe not way back, but they've sure met before, and the president's admiration for the Fort Worth singer's music is well documented. Now Obama has given Bridges an extra tip o' the hat with his new summer playlist.
Last February, Bridges was out in Washington, D.C. to perform for the president and first lady as part of The Smithsonian's In Performance at the White House tribute to Ray Charles. He performed one of Charles' songs, "Lonely Avenue," while wearing one of the legendary soul singer's jackets.
Bridges later told the Observer that it was his mother's proudest moment. "'I see you,'" he remembered Obama telling him, as well as noting he is "an upcoming Texas soul star.'"
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Been waiting to drop this: summer playlist, the encore. What's everybody listening to? pic.twitter.com/mqh1YVrycj— President Obama (@POTUS) August 11, 2016
His mother is probably all the prouder this morning to see that Obama included one of Bridges' songs on his new summer playlist. Well, technically, daytime summer playlist, because the President apparently has enough time on his lame-duck hands to compile separate daytime and nighttime ones. The song of choice? "Smooth Sailin'."
As has been the case often in the past 18 months, Bridges is in good company: Legends like Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin and Charles Mingus are also on the playlist, as are Prince, Jay Z and Janelle Monáe.