Artists recruited by Michelle Obama for new single


Artists including Missy Elliott, Kelly Clarkson and Kelly Rowland all feature on a charity single put together by US First Lady Michelle Obama.

This Is For My Girls was written by Diane Warren – whose previous credits include I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing and Un-Break My Heart.

She described the song – a strident, girl power anthem – as “We Are the World meets Lady Marmalade”.

Obama released the single ahead of her keynote speech at the SXSW festival.

She will talk about her Let Girls Learn initiative, which is aimed at boosting education rates amongst adolescent girls around the world.

Several of the performers on the track, including Missy Elliott and Diane Warren, will then join her on a panel about the initiative, as well as Sophia Bush and Queen Latifah, who will moderate the discussion.

This Is For My Girls combines jazzy horn stabs with a propulsive drum beat, giving the song a militaristic feel.

The lyrics mostly comprise generic statements of empowerment – “Don’t take nothing from nobody”; “It’s all about respect”; “Stand strong forever” – which have been a standard component of female-fronted R&B since the turn of the millennium.

Other vocalists featured on the track include Janelle Monae, Glee actress Lea Michele, Disney star Zendaya, 16-year-old Motown artist Jadagrace, and Beyonce proteges Chloe & Halle.

All of the artists waived their fees, meaning proceeds will go directly to the Let Girls Learn campaign.

“We haven’t had an anthem like this in a while,” Warren told Billboard.

“I envisioned the record being with all these different women, never just one girl singing on it.

“With Kelly Rowland on it, it’s almost like an updated Destiny’s Child record. I think it can be a huge worldwide anthem. I hope it becomes that.”

The single is available exclusively on iTunes, while Obama’s speech at the SXSW festival will be streamed live on from 16:00 GMT.


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