Michelle Obama's Incredible 2019, from Breaking Records with Her Book to Being Praised by Beyoncé
Her Book Breaks Records...
Mrs. Obama's Becoming is slated to be one of the most — if not the most — popular memoirs ever written. Since its Nov. 13, 2018 release, more than 11 million copies of The New York Times bestseller have been sold.
“We believe this could be the most successful memoir in history,” Thomas Rabe, head of one of Penguin Random House’s parent companies, said in March 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The former first lady's intimate memoir sold two million copies within two weeks, making it the best-selling book of 2018, according to Fortune. The hardcover edition also sold more copies than any other book published in the U.S. last year, according to a press release from her sold-out book tour.
...and Is 'Becoming' a Companion Journal
The success of the blockbuster memoir also led to the release of Obama's new companion journal, Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice. The project, which hit shelves Nov. 19, 2019, was created to help readers document their own journeys through life.
It “includes more than 150 inspiring questions and quotes that resonate with key themes in Mrs. Obama’s memoir and that are designed to help readers reflect on their personal and family history, their goals, challenges, and dreams,” according to publisher Penguin Random House.
She Lands a Grammy Nomination
Mrs. Obama was "thrilled" to learn that she earned her first Grammy nomination for the audiobook version of her memoir, which she narrated.
“So thrilled to receive a #GRAMMYs nomination!” Obama tweeted on Nov. 20, 2019. “This past year has been such a meaningful, exhilarating ride. I’ve loved hearing your stories and continuing down the road of becoming together. Thank you for every ounce of love and support you’ve shared so generously.”
Does this mean we're going to get a FLOTUS moment at the Grammys? Fingers crossed.
Tom Hanks Thinks She's Great
The former first lady was emotional as she accepted the Tom Hanks Caregiver CHampion award for service to military caregivers in October 2019, at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Heroes gala.
“You all changed me forever,” a teary-eyed Obama said during her acceptance speech. “You have changed the way I see service, you’ve changed the way I see war, you’ve changed the way I see this entire country.”
“I was like most Americans, sadly, I had absolutely no idea what the life of a military family member was like,” Obama continued. “ ... But that all changed back when my husband was first campaigning for president and I had the great fortune to be able to sit down with groups of military spouses. And, yeah, you better believe their stories blew me away.”
While in the White House, Obama joined former Vice President Joe Biden in creating Joining Forces, an initiative that rallied Americans around active service members, veterans, and their families.
She Released a Netflix Special
With her husband, former president Barack Obama, the former first lady released the first project from their production deal with Netflix: a documentary about post-industrial Ohio called American Factory. "Those first scenes of those folks on the floor in their uniforms, that was my background, that was my father,” she said of the film's personal impact. “And that was reflected in this film.”
Up next on the Obamas' slate: a children’s show for preschoolers called Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents, a narrative film adaptation of the biography Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, and a new series from Nashville creator Callie Khouri called Bloom.
Viola Davis Will Play Her on TV
The Oscar-winning actress will play Mrs. Obama in First Ladies, a new anthology series in development at Showtime. The one-hour drama will focus on the personal and political lives of famous first ladies, and season 1 will include Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford.
“In the East Wing of the White House, many of history’s most impactful and world changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by America’s charismatic, complex and dynamic First Ladies,” the logline reads. “This series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of our most enigmatic heroes.”
She's Named World's Most Admired Women
Obama took the No. 1 spot on the world’s most admired women list, according to an annual study by YouGov, which interviewed more than 42,000 people from 41 countries. Obama was named by almost 9 percent of the respondents — a figure which increased to 15.4 percent when looking at results from just the United States.
She's Recognized for Her Influence
Just how influential is Michelle Obama? Beyoncé took a minute to write a few words about the inspiring leader and icon for Time's annual list of most influential people.
"She would’ve been impactful simply by being in the White House, the first African-American First Lady. But she also used her position of power to improve the world around her," the singer wrote. "I am so grateful that my daughters and my son live in a world where Michelle Obama shines as a beacon of hope who inspires all of us to do better and to be better."
She Shared a Glimpse at Her Happy Family Life
With daughters Sasha and Malia both off to college, the Obamas have had more time to dedicate to each other. The two celebrated their 27th anniversary on Oct. 3 with a sweet pair of tweets, which showcased their love for each other.
“Like the Beatles said: It’s getting better all the time. Thanks, babe, for 27 amazing years!,” former president Barack Obama tweeted, along with a photo of the two facing away from the camera, snuggled together as they watch the sunrise over a wide-open field in Tanzania.
Mrs. Obama’s post on Twitter was quick to follow, only less than an hour later.
“27 years ago, this guy promised me a life full of adventure. I’d say he’s delivered,” she began her loving caption. “Here’s to our next chapter of becoming empty nesters and discovering what’s next—while still feeling the magic that brought us together all those years ago.”
“Happy anniversary, Barack,” she added.