US President Barack Obama does a little dance while First Lady Michelle Obama and Malia Obama look on in Washington DC on July 16, 2012.
Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Obama turns 54: Here are 5 times he broke it down in song and dance


President Obama turned 54 on Tuesday. With the 2016 election heating up, the end of Obama’s time in the White House is in sight.

While he’s all business in the Oval Office, the president has made it clear that he’s one of the best singers and dancers to have ever graced the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Will the president have a post-political career as an entertainer of stage and screen? That we can’t be certain of, but we can celebrate his birthday by remembering five times he showed he’s got moves (and vocal chops) like Jagger:

1. Long before first lady Michelle Obama broke it down to “Uptown Funk” with Ellen Degeneres, then-Sen. Obama made a campaign stop in 2008 at the comedian’s talk show – set to Beyonce

2. Taking the stage after gospel singer Al Green at a fundraiser at the historic Apollo Theater in New York City in 2012, Obama brought the audience back to the soul singer’s roots, melting his audience with the words: “I’m so in love with you …”

3. During his first trip to Kenya in July, Obama was asked to dance the country’s traditional dance of Lipala. The president showed off his moves to the song “Sura Yako” by popular band Sauti Sol. “The #LipalaDance #SuraYako is his new favorite Kenyan dance!” the group proudly declared on Instagram – and sure enough, the video went viral.


4. Not to be upstaged by Al Green, the late B.B. King invited Obama to sing to his accompaniment of “Sweet Home Chicago” in 2012. Mic Jagger handed the president his mic, and he began to croon: “Baby don’t you wanna go …”


5. After he was inaugurated as the nation’s first black president, Obama stepped out for his first dance to the standard “At Last,” which was immortalized by blues singer Etta James. Blues, as Obama noted on PBS in 2012, is a “music with humble beginnings  roots in slavery and segregation, a society that rarely treated black Americans with the dignity and respect that they deserved. The blues bore witness to these hard times. And like so many of the men and women who sang them, the blues refused to be limited by the circumstances of their birth.” Michelle Obama to Twitter Tuesday to thank her husband and dance partner, saying, “Happy birthday to a loving husband, wonderful father and my favorite dace partner. 54 looks good on you @POTUS!”

Barack Obama and White House

Obama turns 54: Here are 5 times he broke it down in song and dance