US Secretary of State Tony Blinken Impresses With Guitar Performance at ‘Global Music Diplomacy Initiative’ Launch
Video footage of US Secretary of State Tony Blinken showcasing his musical talents has gone viral, accumulating more than 9 million views on social media platform X (formerly Twitter). The clip captures Blinken, a renowned lover of rock and roll, strumming the guitar while delivering an impassioned rendition of blues icon Muddy Waters’ classic track, ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’.
The notable performance took place at the launch ceremony of the ‘Global Music Diplomacy Initiative’ held at the State Department in Washington, DC on September 27. During the event, Secretary Blinken announced the establishment of the ‘Peace through Music Award’, an honor bestowed upon musicians who contribute to cultural exchange and foster greater understanding among people worldwide.
In a move to further promote American music and lyrics, the State Department revealed plans to incorporate courses on these subjects into English language education programs supported internationally. Additionally, a Fulbright scholarship dedicated to musicians will be established, providing opportunities for advanced training at Washington, DC’s renowned Kennedy Center.
Following the ceremony, Secretary Blinken’s impromptu performance of ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’, a song with significant historical influence on the development of rock, drew praise from attendees. Eric Clapton, the world-famous blues/rock guitarist, later popularized the track through his own rendition. This display of the Secretary’s “rock spirit” captured the admiration of those in attendance.
Despite receiving limited attention from American media, Secretary Blinken emphasized the significance of combining diplomacy with music, stating, “We cannot miss the opportunity tonight to combine music and diplomacy.” He shared the video of his performance on his official channel.
While some critics dismissed the event, citing ongoing geopolitical issues such as the Ukraine conflict, as one Twitter user put it, “Ukraine is on fire, Blinken is just playing the guitar,” there was also an overwhelming positive response as many expressed surprise at discovering the Secretary of State’s musical talents.
The New York Times underscored Blinken’s “emotional baritone voice” and noted his skill in delivering clear blues chords during the performance. In a 2021 interview with ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine, the Secretary confessed his lifelong passion for rock and roll, describing music as a fundamental aspect of his life. Blinken’s affinity for the genre traces back to his childhood, when hearing his parents play The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” left an indelible impression.
Fellow guitarist Eric Clapton, a global icon, holds a special place in Blinken’s heart. Having attended 75 of Clapton’s live performances, the Secretary of State has made no secret of his admiration for the legendary musician. In fact, during his younger days, Blinken even released three tracks, including ‘Lip Service,’ ‘Patience,’ and ‘Without Ya,’ under the alias ‘Ablinken’ on music streaming platform Spotify.
Source: US Department of State
US Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, plays the guitar and shows off his guitar after singing at the launch ceremony of the ‘Global Music Diplomacy Initiative’ held at the State Department in Washington, DC on the 27th of last month. /AFP Yonhap News
A video of US Secretary of State Tony Blinken playing the guitar and singing ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ by blues master Muddy Waters is becoming popular on X (formerly Twitter), recording more than 9 million views. Secretary Blinken is famous for his love of rock and roll, and this song had a great influence on the development of rock as well.
Secretary of State Blinken attended the launch ceremony of the ‘Global Music Diplomacy Initiative’ held at the State Department in Washington, DC on September 27. He announced the creation of a ‘Peace through Music Award’ given by the State Department to musicians who promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding with people from all over the world. In addition, the State Department announced that it would officially introduce a course that teaches American songs and lyrics into the curriculum of English language education programs supported around the world, and that it would create a Fulbright scholarship for musicians to enable them to training at the Kennedy. Center in Washington, DC.
Afterwards, he picked up a Fender guitar and began to sing Hoochie Coochie Man sung by the master of the blues, Muddy Waters. This song, which had a great influence on the history of rock, was later performed by Eric Clapton, world famous guitarist and blues/rock musician. The attendees praised the minister’s ‘rock spirit’.
The event itself received little attention, even in the American media. However, Secretary Blinken said, “We cannot miss the opportunity tonight to combine music and diplomacy,” and the performance video he posted on his official
US Secretary of State Tony Blinken played Muddy Waters’ “Hoochie Coochie Man” on guitar at the launch ceremony of the “Global Music Diplomacy Initiative” held in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the State Department in Washington, DC on September 27, 2023 (local time). I do it. /Department of State
The New York Times reported that while there was a cynical response saying, “Ukraine is on fire, Blinken is just playing the guitar,” there was also a response saying, “I had no idea (the Secretary of State could play the guitar) .” The newspaper also said Blinken displayed an “emotional baritone voice” and “clear blues chords.”
In an interview with ‘Rolling Stones’ magazine in 2021, Minister Blinken admitted his love for rock and roll, saying, “I guess music is the context that runs through my life.” He is said to have been struck by lightning when he heard his parents play ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ for the rock band The Beatles as a child, and has loved rock and roll ever since.
Secretary Blinken is also a fan of world famous guitarist Eric Clapton and has seen him perform live 75 times. He was active in a band when he was young and released three songs, including ‘Lip Service’, ‘Patience’, and ‘Without Ya’, under the name ‘Ablinken’ on the music site Spotify.
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