Along with other notable celebrities, Michelle Obama has been named one of the 2019 People of the Year. The former first lady joins Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, and Taylor Swift for People magazine’s top honor.
Obama has been on a tour for most of the year promoting her 2018 book, Becoming. The book, which was released on Nov. 13, 2018, has sold more than 11.5 million units worldwide across print, digital, and audio formats, including 7.5 million units in the U.S. and Canada alone, and has been published in 45 languages.
Obama’s most recent book, Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice, was released on Nov. 19. It is a companion piece to her critically-acclaimed memoir, Becoming, and features an “intimate introduction” from Obama, herself.
According to People, “In 2019 Michelle Obama became the bestselling memoirist of all time, and the audio version of Becoming was nominated for a Grammy. In a Gallup survey, Mrs. Obama was named the most admired woman in the world, and it’s no wonder since she continues to do so much work to improve girls’ education both here at home and in countries like Namibia with her Global Girls Alliance.”
Obama has stated that after being out of the White House for two years, she and President Barack Obama have “rediscovered” themselves since their youngest daughter, Sasha, went to college. “We’ve rediscovered all these little pockets of time, just me and Barack, that for a couple [of] decades have been filled with school events or sports practices,” she said. “We’re taking full advantage of this new normal, simply spending time with each other and remembering what brought us together in the first place.”
“Sometimes I’ll get a glimpse of him and just go, ‘Hey you! Where have you been for 21 years?’ ” she continues. “It’s been fun. The tough part, of course, is missing our girls. It’s an adjustment to see each other for a weekend here, a holiday break there, but the moments we do spend together feel extra special because of it.”
People‘s Editor-in-Chief, Dan Wakeford, explains the choices for this year’s People of the Year honor: “For the first time ever we are giving you four different covers in one issue. Our People of the Year issue celebrates the stars who have made an impact on our culture, the individuals who have moved us and entertained us. We wanted to see if we could soak up a little of their wisdom. When we sat down to look at who we thought deserved this honor, I wasn’t surprised that we ended up with an all-female foursome—this year has been dominated by strong women.”