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New York Times NOVEMBER 23, 2015 - by Joe Coscarelli
COLDPLAY FEATURE BARACK OBAMA'S 'AMAZING GRACE' ON NEW SONG 'KALEIDOSCOPE'
Beyoncé, Noel Gallagher, Brian Eno and the session singer Merry Clayton are among the big-name guest musicians on the new Coldplay album, A Head Full Of Dreams. But none can match the résumé of the amateur vocalist known as Barack Obama.
"We have a tiny clip of the President singing Amazing Grace at that church," Coldplay's lead singer, Chris Martin, said in The Sun. The church reference is to President Obama's rendition of the hymn during his eulogy for the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, a pastor who was killed with eight others in Charleston, South Carolina, this summer.
According to the credits for the album, which will be released December 4 by Atlantic Records, a sample of the performance, as recorded by CNN at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church, will be included on the song Kaleidoscope. While Mr. Obama is not listed by name, the band credits the "kind permission" of Reverend Dr. Norvel Goff Senior, for the clip.
Mr. Martin said Coldplay included the section "because of the historical significance" of it and because the song is "about 'I'm lost, but now I'm found.'"
A Head Full Of Dreams, the band's seventh studio album, was produced by Rik Simpson and the pop production duo Stargate. Also listed in the album credits are vocal contributions from Gwyneth Paltrow, Mr. Martin's ex-wife, and the couple's two children, Apple and Moses Martin, along with Blue Ivy Carter, the daughter of Jay Z and Beyoncé.
Mr. Obama's performance almost didn't happen. The White House adviser Valerie Jarrett recalled earlier this year that the president warned her and the first lady Michelle Obama while in transit to the speech that he might break into the hymn. "We'll see how it feels at the time," he said. A C-SPAN clip of the performance that followed has been viewed more than 2.7 million times on YouTube.
The president has made his Coldplay fandom known in the past, including the group on his summer Spotify playlist this year. And while Mr. Obama has not previously been featured on a potential Number 1 album, preferring impromptu interpretations of Al Green from the lectern, he has won two Grammy Awards: for Best Spoken World Album in 2006, for his book Dreams From My Father, and in 2008, for The Audacity of Hope.