Hillary Clinton's Music Taste Might Surprise You

Photo: Mic Smith/AP Photo.
Hillary Clinton has answered a question asked on countless dates and in countless dorm rooms — “What music do you listen to?”

In a short essay for Billboard, the Democratic presidential candidate praised female artists for the magazine’s “Women in Music” issue. The essay starts with a quote from the “great” Loretta Lynn: “You either have to be first, best, or different.” It’s a phrase that seems tailor-made for Clinton, who hopes to be the first female president of the United States.

Clinton clearly has a soft spot for Lynn, but she’s also clear about the fact that what she admires most about these artists is their work ethic. She praises the determination and strength it takes to grow and develop as an artist and the confidence it takes to persevere after failure. She also points out that many of these female musicians are giving back to their communities and fans.

The name-dropping of many of today’s most popular female artists feels a little forced — for example, did Clinton really just call her “Brittany”? — but the effect is oddly charming, like when your mom listens to the entirety of 1989 with you because you said it made you feel confident before an interview. And she’s right about the fact that all these women have worked hard for what they have. In the end, she doesn’t have to be a super-fan of their music to admire them and their work.

Clinton finishes with the hope that women and girls worldwide will see what the artists have achieved and feel empowered to follow their own dreams. Or, she says, “maybe they'll just dance.” Which, of course, is always a great option.

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