Beyoncé, Jay-Z and the Obamas: Inside a friendship

By CNN staff

Published August 4, 2020

At some point, two of the world's most powerful couples became friends. By this, we mean, of course, that Beyoncé and Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter befriended Barack and Michelle Obama.


It's not clear when the two dynamic duos met, but they were clearly longtime admirers of each other.

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In 2008, as he campaigned for the White House, then-Sen. Obama scandalized some observers by making a reference to one of salty-tongued Jay-Z's biggest hits, "Dirt off Your Shoulder."


Jay-Z campaigned for Obama's history-making bid for the White House, too.


A few months later, Beyoncé sang "At Last" for the first dance of America's new first couple at an inauguration ball.

Win McNamee/Getty Images/File

Once the Obamas were in the White House, they cultivated their relationship with the Carters. Beyoncé supported the first lady's "Let's Move" initiative with a new video for her song "Get Me Bodied."


Michelle Obama would later say that if she could be anyone other than herself, she'd want to be Beyoncé.

Taylor Hill/WireImage

Beyoncé sang the national anthem for President Obama's second inauguration (the Obamas gave her air kisses before she sang).



There was a bit of a controversy afterward about Beyoncé singing to her own pre-recorded track, but it didn't amount to much.


They're friends, but the Obamas don't have the same star power as the Carters among some. A little girl once told the President she'd been surprised when he'd shown up at her school -- she'd been hoping for Beyoncé.


The couples' relationship endured, though. Jay-Z once claimed he and the President were close enough to text each other (Obama denied it).

White House photo

Michelle Obama made it clear that she's a member of the Beyhive -- Beyoncé fans -- when she did carpool karaoke with James Corden, singing the hit "Single Ladies" on "The Late Late Show."


After the Obamas left the White House, the couples stayed in touch. Michelle Obama even attended Beyoncé's birthday party, where she donned attire similar to Beyoncé's gear from the "Formation" video.


The former first lady and her daughter Sasha were spotted at the Paris stop for On The Run II, the 2018 Beyoncé and Jay-Z tour.


A few days later, grainy images and cell-phone videos of the former first lady and President dancing at the Washington, DC, tour stop turned up.

Emma Langsner

In April 2019, the former first lady took time out from her own record-breaking book tour to praise Queen Bey's work ethic and the release of her "Homecoming" album and Netflix special.

Instagram/Michelle Obama

Where and when will the Obamas and Carters cross paths publicly again? Stay tuned.

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