Barack Obama Reveals Favorite Songs of 2017

Barack Obama is sharing his favorite songs from 2017.

The former president, 56, continued his tradition of naming his annual top tracks by listing tunes from artists such as Kendrick Lamar, French Montana, Harry Styles and JAY-Z, among others.

“During my presidency, I started a tradition of sharing my reading lists and playlists,” Obama wrote on his Facebook page, Sunday. “It was a nice way to reflect on the works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around the world.”

He continued, “With some extra time on my hands this year to catch up, I wanted to share the books and music that I enjoyed most.”

Lamar’s “Humble,” JAY-Z’s “Family Feud,” U2’s “Ordinary Love (Extraordinary Mix)” and Style’s “Sign of the Times,” along with Montana’s “Unforgettable” all made the list.

Camila Cabello’s “Havana, “Chanel” by Frank Ocean and “Broken Clocks” by Sza also got approval from the former president.

Obama ended his list with a special shout out to Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway rendition of “Born in the U.S.A.,” with the father of two adding, “[It’s] not out yet, but the blues version in his Broadway show is the best!”

The former president is good friends with many of the artists he listed, including Chance the Rapper, and JAY-Z and his wife Beyoncé, who collaborated on her husband’s “Family Feud.”

As for literature, Obama named The Power by Naomi Alderman and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles among his favorites.

While sharing his favorite songs and books of 2017 might provide some insight into Obama’s mind, he also shared positive news stories from the year on Friday.

RELATED VIDEO: Prince Harry and Barack Obama Joke Around Ahead of Radio Interview

“As we count down to the new year, we get to reflect and prepare for what’s ahead. For all the bad news that seemed to dominate our collective consciousness, there are countless stories from this year that remind us what’s best about America,” Obama tweeted.

Among the stories he shared were those of Kat Creech, a wedding planner in Houston who turned a postponed wedding into a volunteer opportunity for Hurricane Harvey victims; and Chris Long, the Philadelphia Eagles star who gave away an entire season’s salary to launch a campaign to promote educational equity and opportunity for underserved youth in the three cities he’s played football in – Philadelphia, Boston, and St. Louis.

Serena Williams Just Played Her First Tennis Match After Giving Birth 3 Months Ago

Most of us had a pretty bleh 2017, but Serena Williams, champion in every sense of the word, managed to have a pretty spectacular year. She got married and had a baby and is still considered the best tennis player on the planet. So does it matter that she lost her final match of 2017 and her first since giving birth? Not one bit.

“I don’t think I am going to rate my performance,” she told the AP, per Vanity Fair. “I have plenty of comebacks, from injuries, from surgeries, but I’ve never had a comeback after actually giving birth to a human being. So, in my eyes, I feel it was a wonderful, wonderful match for me.”

The match in question was an exhibition game at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, and the winner was French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. Williams said of her return to the game overall, “I don’t know if I am totally ready to come back on the tour yet …I know that when I come back I definitely want to be competing for championships. I am definitely looking forward to getting back out there. I am taking it one day at a time. I am going to assess everything with my team before deciding.” Fair enough.

“I don’t think I have anything more left to prove,” said Williams, referencing her dozens of grand slam titles and trove of gold medals. But she’s not done with tennis yet, and the first step was just getting back on the court. “In the beginning, it felt a little tough. But as the match moved on, I was less afraid. I knew I was not going to fall over and break,” she said.

It’s not like she was gone for too long, actually. Williams’ break from the game started in January, when she was already several weeks pregnant with her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., so she’s beginning and ending 2017 as a tennis player. And she managed to squeeze in a wedding to the Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit.

She even achieved the most rare and elusive award of all: an Instagram shout-out from her close friend Beyoncé.

Related:

Serena Williams Makes Her First Post-Birth Appearance to Honor Gigi Hadid

Beyoncé’s Post-Pregnancy Dress Is By the Men’s Wear Designer Palomo Spain

All Four U.S. Open Women’s Semifinalists Are Americans

Just a Bunch of Celebrities Spending New Year’s Eve in Incredible Destinations

It’s New Year’s Eve, and after several days (or more) of uninterrupted family time for the holidays, it’s no surprise that everyone, celebrities included, are ready to cut loose and ring in the new year. But while most of us are off to house parties to ring in 2018 or to a nearby bar for a midnight champagne toast—or, hey, staying in and watching these 20 great Netflix movies that are way better than going out, TBH—A-listers are taking their celebrations to some pretty ideal vacation destinations. Keep scrolling through to see where your favorite celebrities will be watching the ball drop around the globe.

Selena Gomez is in Mexico.

Selena Gomez is spending her end-of year-vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with a group of her best girlfriends (it’s their sixth time all spending New Year’s Eve together, which is #friendshipgoals). Apparently they were even joined on Saturday by Selena’s boyfriend Justin Bieber over the weekend.

Bella Hadid is hitting the slopes in Aspen.

Bella Hadid has been busy over the last few days showing off her epic Aspen adventure. Thankfully for her, she’s also found a hot tub to warm up in before 2018.

Shay Mitchell is in Vancouver.

Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell is celebrating the holidays in her home country of Canada and appears to be staying local for the new year.

Gabrielle Union is in Puna Cana, living her best life.

Gabrielle Union is having an amazing time in the Dominican Republic’s resort destination of Punta Cana.

Mariah Carey is jetting between Aspen and New York City.

Mariah Carey will rack up a few frequent flier miles this holiday season. The songstress has been spending quite a lot of her holiday in Aspen, Colorado (Did she and Bella après-ski together? We want answers.). But as the world knows, she will also be flying to New York City, where she’ll perform at Ryan Seacrest’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve event and hopefully redeem herself from her last performance.

Emmy Rossum is exploring Italy, France and Prague.

Emmy Rossum appears to be traveling all over Europe for her holiday break. The Shameless actress has posted several beautiful snaps from her trip featuring the gorgeous local architecture in Paris and Rome—as well as a stunning photo of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.

Lucy Hale is reporting from New Orleans.

Lucy Hale will be joining Seacrest on the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special as a correspondent from New Orleans. The actress even posted a shot from rehearsal in front of the stage where Walk the Moon will also perform.

Katie Holmes is also kicking it on the slopes.

Katie Holmes, like Carey and Hadid, is engaging in the wintriest of pursuits: going skiing on some fresh powder.

Demi Lovato is hanging out in Miami.

Demi Lovato will celebrate the new year with fans as she performs with Kygo at Fontainebleau in Miami Beach. And clearly, according to her Instagram post above, she’s more than ready.

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Ashleigh Banfield Is Married | PEOPLE.com

Surprise — Ashleigh Banfield is married!

The host of HLN’s Crime & Justice tied the knot with her boyfriend of three years, Chris Haynor, at the Hermitage Club ski lodge in Wilmington, Vermont, on December 29. The wedding came as a surprise to most of the 300 guests, who thought they were assembling for Banfield’s 50th birthday party.

According to Banfield, she slipped away to change into her gown — and no one knew what was happening. At 5 p.m. local time that night, the wedding march began to play. Banfield, accompanied by her two sons, walked down the lodge’s grand staircase.

Haynor unzipped his ski jacket and was wearing a suit underneath. “When everyone realized what was happening, they started to cheer,” Banfield tells PEOPLE.

Banfield and Haynor met on Match.com in October 2014. They arranged a lunch date — but never got around to eating. “We just sat there in the restaurant talking for five hours,” Banfield laughs. “We never even ordered. We stayed until they asked us to leave.”

The couple headed to another restaurant for dinner. By the time the evening was over, “I knew I had found my soulmate,” she says.

This is the first marriage for Haynor. Banfield has two sons — Jay, 12 and Ridley, 10 — from a previous marriage.

RELATED VIDEO: Year of Love! the Top Celebrity Wedding Celebrations and Baby Announcements of 2017

Banfield tells PEOPLE that she was not a bridezilla about the nuptials, saying, “I wanted this to be relaxed. I didn’t want to be stressed.”

After the ceremony, guests dined at the resort. Banfield took a hands-off approach to setting the menu. (When asked, Banfield can easily recall the mushroom bisque and the goronzola salad, but only that the beef and chicken entrees were “encrusted with something special. They were really good.”)

How was the food chosen? “I asked [the resort] what they do best,” she says. “I left the details to them. And it came out perfectly.”

For music, Banfield chose a New England-based band, The Short Bus. “They played until about midnight,” Banfield says. “They were just a fantastic band. I can’t even tell you how great they were.”

With the ceremony behind her, would Banfield change anything?

“Absolutely not,” she laughs. “Well, maybe the weather. It was like 25 below zero. But it was just a perfect night. I’m so happy.”

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez Are Both in Cabo San Lucas for New Year’s Eve

Justin Bieber

In Cabo for NYE …

Ditto for Selena

12/31/2017 3:00 PM PST

Justin Bieber can’t seem to stay away from his girlfriend, Selena Gomez, for the holidays … ’cause they’re in the same town south of the border for New Year’s Eve. 

Bieber was spotted shirtless and soaking up some sun Sunday in Cabo San Lucas. Seems like he’s excited, and why shouldn’t he be? Selena’s in the same hood!

Selena was also seen in Cabo with some friends Saturday in a would-be girls only trip for the holiday weekend … except now, it’s clear that Bieber’s probably just a beach run away. Our bet is they’re smooching when the clock strikes 12.

Should old acquaintance be forgot … meet ’em up in Mexico to jog your memory. 

Serena Williams Shares 10 Home Videos with Daughter

Serena Williams is welcoming 2018 with her adorable daughter Alexis Olympia.

The tennis star shared 10 home videos of her baby girl on Sunday ahead of New Year’s day in an Instagram gallery, celebrating milestone moments from their first three months together.

In the first clip, Williams, 36, sat in a cage swing with her four-month-old daughter, in her lap while wearing matching hot pink sweatshirts.

For more coverage, follow our babies magazine on Flipboard.

“Twinsies,” she said.

Williams shared the clips a day after she lost her first competitive match in almost a year at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Alexis Ohanian with daughter Alexis Olympia.

Alexis Ohanian with daughter Alexis Olympia.

Serena Williams/Instagram

“My final top 10 moment of 2017. Of course includes @olympiaohanian they say save the best for last. I could not choose so I just choose 10 random videos. They all were so cute to me 🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️,” she wrote in the caption.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

In another video, her husband Alexis Ohanian picked up their then-newborn daughter before swaddling her.

Serena Williams/Instagram

The next video shows Williams introducing her baby, saying, “This is Junior. Yes, another Junior. Junior took after her Auntie V [Venus Williams]. She has very thin legs.”

Ohanian appears again, in a different video showing him carrying Alexis in his lap in a donut onesie, while saying, “What happened to her pants? Pull them up, I will not have sagging in this house.”

Serena Williams/Instagram

In another video, he carried his daughter like a football while moving around the living room as if he were in a football game. “It’s my baby football,” he said.

Williams and Reddit co-founder Ohanian wed in a star-studded ceremony in New Orleans in November — two months after welcoming little Alexis on Sept. 1. The lovebirds, who began dating in 2015, announced their engagement in December 2016.

On Saturday, the athlete faced off against French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, 20, in an exhibition match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

RELATED VIDEO: Year of Love! the Top Celebrity Wedding Celebrations and Baby Announcements of 2017

According to the Associated Press, Williams struggled with her serve in the first match, Ostapenko trumping her 6-2. She rebounded in the second, winning 3-2, but ended up losing in a super tiebreaker, 10-5.

Though she lost, Williams remained in good spirits. “It’s good to be back on the court,” Williams said after the match, ESPN reported. “This was such a good time for me. First matches back are always super-incredibly hard, especially after having a baby. It was great. I was glad I could do it here.”

What were your best nine Instagram photos from 2017?


You might have noticed a new end-of-year trend on Instagram the past few days. If so, you can thank 2017bestnine.com, a website that lets you automatically collect and collage your most-liked photos of 2017.

Best Nine has been around for a while, so many of you may be familiar with the tool already. But for those of you who are new to that Best Nine game, here’s how it works.

First of all, your Instagram profile must be public for this to work, so if you have it set to private, quickly switch it to public to allow Best Nine to get in there and do its magic. Once your profile is public, head to 2017 Best Nine and input your Instagram ID.

After a few seconds (or minutes, depending on traffic to the site), the Best Nine service will offer you options for your final collaged photo that includes your best nine photos from 2017.

The ‘original version’ includes a caption that says “Thank you for your likes!” with the hashtag #2017bestnine at the top. You can also choose the photo only version or check out your best nine from 2016.

The final version looks something like this:

And with that, 2017 is nearly over. Happy New Year, everyone!

Featured Image: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Getty Images

What were your best nine Instagram photos from 2017?


You might have noticed a new end-of-year trend on Instagram the past few days. If so, you can thank 2017bestnine.com, a website that lets you automatically collect and collage your most-liked photos of 2017.

Best Nine has been around for a while, so many of you may be familiar with the tool already. But for those of you who are new to that Best Nine game, here’s how it works.

First of all, your Instagram profile must be public for this to work, so if you have it set to private, quickly switch it to public to allow Best Nine to get in there and do its magic. Once your profile is public, head to 2017 Best Nine and input your Instagram ID.

After a few seconds (or minutes, depending on traffic to the site), the Best Nine service will offer you options for your final collaged photo that includes your best nine photos from 2017.

The ‘original version’ includes a caption that says “Thank you for your likes!” with the hashtag #2017bestnine at the top. You can also choose the photo only version or check out your best nine from 2016.

The final version looks something like this:

And with that, 2017 is nearly over. Happy New Year, everyone!

Featured Image: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Will Smith has learned a thing or two in the two decades that he’s been married to wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

On Sunday, the 49-year-old actor celebrated the couple’s 20th wedding anniversary by sharing some of the lessons he’s learned since they first said “I do.”

“20 Years Ago Today we held hands and walked naively down that aisle. Here’s what I’ve learned since,” he wrote alongside a photo of the couple from their wedding day in 1997.

“Love is Like Gardening,” he wrote. “I have learned to focus on HELPING you to BLOSSOM into what YOU want to be (into what you were born to be)… Rather than Demanding that you become what my Fragile Ego needs you to be.”

He also added, “I’ve learned to take pleasure in Nourishing YOUR dreams… Rather than wrestling with you to Fulfill my Selfish Needs & Satiate My Insecurities.”

“I have learned that Love is Listening. Love is Giving. Love is Freedom,” he continued. “Happy Anniversary, My Queen! I am forever Devoted to Nurturing your Deepest Truth.”

RELATED VIDEO: Scoop: Jada Pinkett Smith Says She Wishes Those Rumors about Her and Husband Will Smith Being Swingers Were True

In 2015, Pinkett Smith, opened up about the one thing her relationship to her husband really boiled down to: trust.

“You gotta trust who you’re with,” she told Howard Stern in an interview that aired on his Sirius radio show. “At the end of the day, I’m not here to be anybody’s watcher … he’s a grown man.”

“Thank God I have a husband who’s just a gangster partner because can you just imagine taking that road together from 25 to 44?” she continued. “You’ve got to be strong … it takes work.”

Jada Pinkett Smith (left) and Will Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith (left) and Will Smith

Khloe Kardashian/Snapchat

The pair have also had to put up with countless rumors throughout their lasting relationship: including one about them being swingers.

During a visit to Watch What Happens Live in July, Pinkett Smith, 46, dispelled the claims, adding that she wished they were true. “I’m like, ‘Yo, I wish. I wish!’ ” she said.

Her Girls Trip and Set It Off costar Queen Latifah, who appeared alongside her on the popular Bravo late night show, seemed disappointed to hear the gossip was false.

“I’ve always admired that about you. Don’t take that away from me!” Latifah joked. “I’ve compared you to every relationship I’m in. I’m like, ‘It’s the perfect way!’ ”

Will Smith (left) and Jada Pinkett Smith

Will Smith (left) and Jada Pinkett Smith

Khloe Kardashian/Snapchat

Asked whether the couple — who have been together for 23 years total — had any tips for keeping the romance hot, the mother of two responded, “I don’t know!”

“I mean, I’m baffled, really. Will and I just have amazing chemistry on a lot of different levels. We love to laugh together, we love to learn together, and we just love each other. We just have a good time together,” she continued.

“Yeah, I guess that’s the secret. Yeah, we just really like each other!” she added.

The pair have two children together — Jaden Smith, 19 and Willow Smith, 17. Smith also has a son from a previous relationship, Trey, 25.

Trump fires back at Rouhani slam amid deadly Iran protests

President Trump fired back Sunday at Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who’d broken his silence on rare, widespread and deadly protests breaking out inside the Islamic Republic.

“Iran, the Number One State of Sponsored Terror with numerous violations of Human Rights occurring on an hourly basis, has now closed down the Internet so that peaceful demonstrators cannot communicate. Not good!” Trump tweeted.

It may have been a reference to Rouhani’s jab earlier in the day, when he said Trump “has forgotten that he had called Iranian people ‘terrorists’ a few months ago.”

Rouhani also said in his speech Sunday night — his first since the protests first broke out Thursday — that people have the right to demonstrate, but those demonstrations should not make the public “feel concerned about their lives and security.”

People protest in Tehran, Iran December 30, 2017 in in this picture obtained from social media. REUTERS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC1F4C4949E0

Dec. 30, 2017: The protests have spread to Iranian’s capital of Tehran.

 (Reuters)

Earlier Sunday, Trump tweeted that Iranians were “finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism.

“Looks like they will not take it any longer,” Trump wrote. “The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”

Rouhani’s comments came hours after two protesters were killed at a rally.

The deaths were the first of the demonstrations, which appear to be the largest to strike Iran since the protests that followed the country’s disputed 2009 presidential election. Thousands of people have taken to the streets.

“On Saturday evening, there was an illegal protest in Dorud and a number of people took to the streets responding to calls from hostile groups, leading to clashes,” said Habibollah Khojastehpour, the deputy governor of the western Lorestan province, according to Sky News. “Unfortunately in these clashes two citizens from Dorud were killed.”

In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, anti-riot Iranian police prevent university students to join other protesters over Iran weak economy, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. A wave of spontaneous protests over Iran's weak economy swept into Tehran on Saturday, with college students and others chanting against the government just hours after hard-liners held their own rally in support of the Islamic Republic's clerical establishment. (AP Photo)

Dec. 30, 2017: In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, anti-riot Iranian police prevent university students from joining other protesters in Tehran, Iran.

 (AP)

Khojastehpour told state television that “no shots were fired by the police and security forces” and “foreign agents” and “enemies of the revolutions” were to blame.

A Revolutionary Guard Telegram channel blamed the deaths on “people armed with hunting and military weapons” who “entered the protests and started shooting randomly toward the crowd and the governor’s building,” according to Sky News, adding that six people also were wounded.

Videos circulating on social media late Saturday appeared to show fallen protesters in Doroud as gunshots sounded in the background, although the footage could not be independently confirmed.

The killings came as interior minister Abdolrahman Rahmani Fazli warned Iranians about participating in the protests.

“Those who damage public property, disrupt order and break the law must be responsible for their behavior and pay the price,” Sky News quoted Fazli as saying early Sunday on state television.

TRUMP REDOUBLES SUPPORT OF IRAN PROTESTS, SAYING THE ‘WORLD IS WATCHING’

The CEO of the popular messaging app Telegram, which protesters have used to plan and publicize demonstrations, according to the Associated Press, said Sunday that Iran has been “blocking access… for the majority of Iranians.” Iranians said the app is now inaccessible by mobile phone networks.

State TV also said Instagram use has been “temporarily limited.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.