The former president reportedly celebrated his 60th birthday in style. According to PEOPLE, Barack Obama hosted a star-studded affair at Martha’s Vineyard with musical performances from an array of talented artists. The guest list included A-list stars such as Tom Hanks, Gayle King, and Steven Spielberg and performances from H.E.R., Erykah Badu, and John Legend.
Initially, Obama desired to hold a large function for his birthday. However, the outlet reported the former POTUS downsized his event from a huge gathering of hundreds of guests, to a smaller, yet still large crowd of 200 family members and close friends. The change was made amid the coronavirus pandemic as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to increase the number of positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from the illness across the country.
“This outdoor event was planned months ago in accordance with all public health guidelines and with COVID safeguards in place,” Hannah Hankins, a spokeswoman for the Obamas, said in a statement. “Due to the new spread of the Delta variant over the past week, the President and Mrs. Obama have decided to significantly scale back the event to include only family and close friends.”
Still, after cutting the guestlist, Obama’s spokesperson shared a statement describing the safety measures in place to ensure the birthday celebration did not turn into a coronavirus super-spreader event. Custom black masks with gold detail were provided for guests, although many opted not to wear them. According to the report, the Obama family hired medical professionals to ensure all CDC, state, and local pandemic protocols would be followed.
Although the pandemic shifted his birthday plans, a source shared with the entertainment outlet Obama still had “a great time” at the tented affair. “He never stopped smiling,” the source shared with PEOPLE. “Literally, every time I saw him, he had the biggest smile.”
According to TMZ, additional guests included power couples Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade, and actors Don Cheadle, George Clooney, and Bradley Cooper. Photos uploaded by the media tabloid picture napkins decorated with a custom-gold design, as well as vegetarian food options. The outlet reported the high-profile event resulted in a traffic surge, which one officer referred to as a “sh*t show.”
Video footage of Obama dancing with Grammy Award-winning singer H.E.R. was captured by Badu and uploaded to Twitter by a supporter of Vice President Kamala Harris.
Barack Obama having a blast at his 60th birthday extravaganza, seen here dancing behind Erykah Badu with Grammy and Oscar award winning songwriter and singer, H.E.R. ? ?
*All attendees got tested for COVID prior to attending because Democrats..????pic.twitter.com/IxMTwCiZqs
— Madam Vice President Harris is GOAT! (@flywithkamala) August 8, 2021
Ahead of the celebration, his wife, acclaimed author Michelle Obama took to social media to share a heartfelt birthday message to her long-time love. “Of all of your accomplishments, I know that being a present, loving father to our girls tops them all,” the former FLOTUS wrote. “Thank you for never letting the weight of the world get in the way of being a wonderful husband and father. Happy 60th birthday.”
Since their White House exit, the couple has entered the world of media, with podcasts, top-selling books, and even a children’s show Waffles + Mochi, which premiered on Netflix this spring.