Former First Lady and best-selling author Michelle Obama have been nominated for a Grammy Award for her 2018 memoir ‘Becoming’. Having already been crowned the ‘World’s Most Admired Women’ in July, securing victory in the Spoken Word category at next year’s 61st Annual Grammy Awards would come as the latest accola-de to add to the 55-year-old’s already expansive resume. Snagging the nomination for the audiobook version of her memoir, Obama will be up against an eclectic mix of authors and entertainers in the category, which includes works of poetry and storytelling, as well as other audiobooks.
Among the fellow nominees are members of the Beastie Boys, actor-director John Waters, poet Sekou Andrews, and musician Eric Alexandrakis. The Spoken Word category has a long history of political winners and nominees, which include Michelle’s husband, President Barack Obama, who has twice lifted the trophy both in 2006 and 2008.
Fellow ex-presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton also have three wins between them in the same category. Carter first won in 2007, before securing victory again in 2016 and once more in January this year.
Clinton, on the other hand, won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album in 2005. His wife Hillary won the category back in 1997, and was nominated again in 2004 but lost out to fellow Demo-cratic politician, Al Franken.
This comes as Michelle Obama’s second nomination for the Recording Academy’s highest honor, having first been named on the ballot in 2012 for her audiobook ‘American Grown’, a book filled with gardening tips and cooking recipes.
The Harvard graduate also made a surprise appearance on-stage at this year’s Grammy ceremony, appearing alongside host Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jennifer Lopez, where she spoke about the impact music has had on her life. ‘From the Motown records I wore out on the Southside, to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,’ Obama told the audience.
Obama’s now Grammy-nominated book, Becoming, is on course to become the best-selling memoir ever, according to publisher Penguin House, having sold in excess of 10 million copies as of March this year.
Presales made Becoming the No. 1 most-sold book on Amazon months before its release date. Shortly after publication, it also became a No. 1 seller abroad, in Britain, Germany, and Greece, among dozens of other countries.’ I’m not aware, in my personal experience with Penguin Random House, that we ever sold 10 million units of a memoir,’ chief executive Markus Dohle told The Wall Street Journal at the time.
Obama narrated the audiobook version of the memoir, which follows the journey from her childhood in the South Side of Chicago to life after her eight years in the White House at her husband’s side.
In the book, Obama cr!tic-izes President Trump, insisting she will ‘never forgive’ him for the co-nspiracy theory he pr-ompted about Barack Obama’s place of birth – cla!mi-ng he was born in Kenya, rather than Hawaii – which put her family’s safety at r!sk.
Addressing her fans on social media this week, Obama said: ‘I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I published my m-emoir. And I hope you know how meaningful it’s been for me to connect with all of you – the little girls who hug me in line at a bookstore, the teenagers who opened up their hearts to me. I’ve noticed that so many of us face a common challenge: that too often we think our stories don’t matter.’
‘I’ve learned a different truth,’ she continued. ‘The quietest, mundane moments lay bare the most powerful truths in our lives. So as we head into this next year, I want to encourage you all to embrace those tiny moments and write them down. And maybe, if you want, share them with your friends. That’s how we can keep becoming.’
In addition to her success as an author, Michelle Obama was also named as the ‘world’s most admired woman’ in a YouGov poll this year. As to whether she will join her husband as a Grammy-winning artist, Obama will have to wait until January 26, 2020, when the 61st annual award ceremony is broadcast on CBS.