Billie Eillish swept the big categories at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, but the rising star singer-songwriter wasn’t the only first-time winner at the recording industry’s biggest bash.
Obama was nominated in the Best Spoken Word Album category for the audio recording of her bestselling memoir, “Becoming,” and she beat out the competition, which included director John Waters and Beastie Boys’ icons Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond.
Though she wasn’t on hand to accept the award at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Best Jazz Vocal Album winner Esperanza Spalding told the audience that she would “gladly accept on her behalf.”
Obama was, however, at the 2019 Grammys, despite the lack of a nomination that year. She took the stage alongside Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Lopez to speak about the important role music has played in her life.
And even though there was no golden trophy for her that night, she did earn a 25-second standing ovation.
With a Grammy of her own now, the lawyer and author is the second first lady to accept the honor. Former first lady, senator and secretary of state Hillary Clinton won Best Spoken Word Album for the audio book version of her bestseller, “It Takes a Village," in 1997, while she was still residing in the White House.
Obama is also the second member of her own family to nab the honor. But she’ll have to win one more time to catch up with her husband, former President Barack Obama.
He walked away with awards in the same category twice before — in 2006, for the abridged reading of his memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” and again in 2008, for “The Audacity of Hope.”
And there could be another award on the horizon for both of them next month at the Oscars — or at least an award for a project they were both had a hand in creating.
Their company, Higher Ground Productions, is behind the Academy Award-nominated documentary, “American Factory.”