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Obama boosts Al Green's sales

If you want to get an instant sales boost, get a Presidential cover version. That’s the lesson we have learned from Barack Obama’s recent rendition (in the more pleasant sense of the word) of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together.

After the First Crooner had broken into song, sales of the track increased by almost 500%. The President’s impromptu performance occurred at a campaign fund-raiser in the legendary Harlem Apollo, when his obviously heartfelt few bars were greeted by rapturous applause.

Obama paid tribute to the Reverend Green, who was in attendance, saying: "Don't worry Rev, I cannot sing like you, but I just wanted to show my appreciation." The appreciation turned out to be quite valuable, shifting 16,000 downloads that week.

The gig in Harlem also helped the Presidential campaign coffers raise more than $3 million. Early signs from Obama’s campaign are that he is keen for it to have a cool soundtrack. A campaign document recently showed that he was seeking endorsements from, among others, Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monae, Jack Johnson, The Roots and John Legend. The Republicans, by comparison, usually have to rely on the support of a few country acts.

In the past, artists such as Bruce Springsteen have made their support for the President clear, and Obama’s camp realise the importance of mobilising young voters to support the Democratic election bid.

Having seen what his singing can do for their sales figures, there may be an even longer list of artists wishing to be associated with his campaign.

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