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Will.i.am claims ‘Yes We Can’ song won Obama his 2008 presidency

Despite Barack Obama’s campaign having no involvement in the video, the Black Eyed Peas star claimed it helped the former president get the White House.

will-i-am. Picture: @iamwill/Instagram.

LONDON - Will.i.am claims his song Yes We Can won Barack Obama the American presidency in 2008.

The 43-year-old American musician-and-producer created the music video which entirely used quotations from the soon-to-be President of the United States, and despite Obama’s campaign having no involvement in the video, the Black Eyed Peas star claimed it helped Obama get the White House.

Speaking to The i newspaper, he said: “That song went on to tip the election to where Obama became the Democratic nominee because it galvanised the youth. I don’t like using the term ‘virus’, because anyone can catch a virus. I say ‘baton’ because a baton means effort: you have to run to the nearest person as fast as you can to pass it to them. So that song was baton-able and people shared it, and it was the first time a political figure running for office had a piece of content that gets seen 20 million times in a weekend, and he became the Democratic nominee after that.”

The song - which was co-created by Bob Dylan’s son Jesse - features a number of singers and actors including Scarlett Johansson, John Legend, Nicole Scherzinger, Tatyana Ali, Harold Perrineau and Aisha Tylor.

Will.i.am - whose real name is William James Adams Jr - also revealed that his motivation to produce music comes from his mother, Debra Adams.

When asked where his drive comes from, he said: “My mom encouraging me early on. ‘Willie, show nanny your grades, make nanny proud’. At the end of the day, it’s as innocent as that; that kind of encouragement at the centre of the family builds a person’s character.

“And that’s what we try to do at my school; offer encouragement.”

This is an extract from the full interview with will-i-am, available to read in this Friday’s issue of The i newspaper, priced at 60p.

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