Beyoncé Fans Will Love Michelle Obama's Secret Service Code Name

In the early 20th century, U.S. presidents and their families began using code names that the Secret Service referred to them as for security reasons. The names are somewhat of an open secret, and their secrecy is no longer required as security technology has advanced. However, the names need to be easy for Secret Service agents to hear over their radios. The White House Communications Agency curates a list of names for the president and his family to choose from, and usually all names start with the same letter. Sometimes the code names have significance for the subjects.

When the Obamas were in the White House, their code names all started with the letter R. Former President Barack Obama's code name was Renegade, and former First Lady Michelle Obama's was Renaissance. Their daughters Malia Obama and Sasha Obama were Radiance and Rosebud.

Renaissance is the French word for "rebirth" and also describes the historical period when a renewed interest in art emerged. Fans of superstar Beyoncé will no doubt enjoy hearing that Michelle's code name was Renaissance since that's the name of Beyoncé's 2022 album, its subsequent tour (with some amazing looks), and the tour film. Since the album came out much later than when the Obamas were in the White House, it could not have been the inspiration for Michelle's code name, though. In fact, the former first lady explained in an interview that she didn't even pick the code name. 

Michelle Obama's code name was chosen for her

Michelle Obama and Beyoncé are friends and admirers of each other. While participating in a "Carpool Karaoke" segment on "The Late Late Show with James Corden," Obama and Corden sang and danced along to Beyoncé's hit "Single Ladies." When James Corden joked, "We were both fully in the Beyhive right there," Obama added, "We just dropped the mic in the hive. ... We were making honey to put in our 'Lemonade,'" referencing another Beyoncé album.

Corden then asked Obama about the infamous Secret Service code names. Obama explained they didn't get to choose the letter all their names started with. In fact, she didn't even choose her name. She told the host: "For me, they just came up with it and said, 'Do you like it?' And I was like, 'Yeah, whatever.'" 

Choosing the name "Renaissance" for an album seemed to be more purposeful for Beyoncé. She spoke with Harper's Bazaar in 2021 and dropped a hint about the not-yet-announced album's title, perhaps giving some insight into why she picked the name: "With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again. I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible."

Michelle had kind words for Beyoncé when the first 'Renaissance' single dropped

Beyoncé expressed similar sentiments when she announced the "Renaissance" album (which includes the track "Summer Renaissance") on Instagram for the first time. "Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world. ... My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking," the singer wrote. 

Michelle Obama has always been a vocal supporter of Beyoncé's work. When the first "Renaissance" single "Break My Soul" was released, she took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express her love for the track: "Queen @Beyonce, you've done it again! 'Break My Soul' is the song we all need right now, and I can't help but dance and sing along while listening to it. Can't wait for the album!"

The love goes both ways. Beyoncé had kind words for Michelle when the former first lady was named one of the 100 Most Influential People by Time in 2019. The singer listed some of Michelle's strongest attributes and wrote for the outlet: "I'm honored to know such a brilliant black woman who's spoken about the sacrifice it takes to balance her passions while remaining a supportive partner and mother, and now a best-selling author with 'Becoming.' She has continued to open herself up, even if it meant being criticized. She has continued to be a portrait of grace."