First Lady Michelle Obama has tried her hand at rap before, but this time she is enlisting some of her famous female artists for a new song "This Is for My Girls." Missy Elliott, Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monáe, Zendaya, Kelly Clarkson, Lea Michele, Jadagrace, and Chloe and Halle all contribute to the uplifting track as horns and a boisterous melody fuse into an empowering track that proclaims "this is for my girls all around the world." The song was written by Grammy winner and Oscar nominee Diane Warren and executive produced by AOL MAKERS.
The track was released ahead of today's SXSW keynote featuring Michelle, Missy, Diane Warren, Queen Latifah, and actress Sophia Bush. During the event, the panel discussed how their favorite albums and favorite artists empowered them to do more. "People like Queen Latifah who is sitting on this stage," started Missy. "Her album, MC Lyte's album, Salt-N-Pepa's album. These women are the reason that I am an MC; that I became an artist. Because of their music. Miss Queen Latifah taught us 'U.N.I.T.Y.' She taught us ladies first."
Michelle then chimed in about the influence Stevie Wonder had on her life. "My very first album of my whole life was Talking Book...I played that album over and over and over again. He talked about unity. He talked about love and peace. All of his songs were empowering." Queen Latifah agreed with the First Lady. "Stevie Wonder would be my all-time favorite because he had a song for every purpose and moment in my life." She also said artists like Teena Marie were extremely important to her. "She wrote and she produced all of her music. To read all these credits... it struck something in me. I can write and produce my own music... [There is] empowerment in how we can use our own voices."
"This Is for My Girls" arrives as part of the First Lady's 62 Million Girls campaign, which focuses on seeking access to education for girls around the world who are denied an education because of a lack of opportunities. Check out a preview of the song below. You can download "This Is for My Girls" exclusively on iTunes with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund.