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Mar 6, 2019

Final Moderators Announced for Last Dates of Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama

Today, Live Nation and Crown Publishing, a part of Penguin Random House, announced all remaining moderators for the final tour dates of Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama.

Produced by Live Nation, the tour continues next Wednesday, March 13, in Saint Paul, MN, with Michele Norris joining as moderator. Before the highly successful tour wraps, Mrs. Obama will bring out an incredible array of moderators to join her on the final dates of her journey, including comedian and television show host Conan O'Brien, chef and television personality Carla Hall, former Let's Move! executive director Sam Kass, broadcaster Robin Roberts, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, television host Rachael Ray, comedian Phoebe Robinson, actress and comedian Jessica Williams, late-night host Stephen Colbert, journalist Isha Sesay, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett, and television personality Gayle King. Please see below for moderator biographies and routing details.

This 2019 extension of the tour will conclude with 15 events in the United States and Canada and 6 dates in Europe. The final event will take place on May 12 in Nashville, TN, at the historic Ryman Auditorium concluding the Becoming book tour. Tickets and a limited number of VIP meet and greet packages with the former First Lady are on sale now at BecomingMichelleObama.com.

In keeping with her commitment to make her events accessible to as many people as possible, Mrs. Obama and Live Nation will donate a portion of ticket inventory in each market to various organizations, including, but not limited to, charities, schools, book clubs, and community groups in each city the tour visits. Those fans will receive free admission to the tour stop in their city.


Becoming was released on November 13, 2018, in the U.S. and Canada by Crown Publishing, a part of Penguin Random House, and is being published in 44 languages around the world. Since its publication, Becoming became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller after one week of sales, and has sold more than 6 million units in all formats and editions in the U.S. and Canada. According to NDP BookScan data, the hardcover edition of Becoming has sold more copies than any other book published in the United States in 2018 and more copies than any other hardcover nonfiction book published since 2007.


After 22 printings, the hardcover edition of Becoming will have 5,265,000 copies in print in the U.S. and Canada and more than 8.25 million copies in print worldwide. The book is also a #1 bestseller in 12 other countries around the world. An audio edition of the book, read by Mrs. Obama, is also available in digital and physical formats by Penguin Random House Audio. 




About Live Nation Entertainment

Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world's leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, and Live Nation Sponsorship. For additional information, please visit www.livenationentertainment.com.


About Crown Publishing

Crown Publishing is a part of Penguin Random House, the world's largest trade book publisher, which is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson, who own 75 percent and 25 percent respectively. With more than 250 independent imprints and brands on five continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children's fiction and nonfiction print and digital English- and Spanish-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With 15,000 new titles, and 600 million print, audio, and ebooks sold annually, Penguin Random House's publishing lists include more than 60 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world's most widely read authors.

Becoming by Michelle Obama Media Contacts:


Crown Publishing/Penguin Random House

Carisa Hays,[email protected]


Live Nation Media Contact:    

Emily Bender, [email protected] 

Monique Sowinski, [email protected] 


Moderator Biographies


Saint Paul - Michele Norris

Michele Norris is one of the most trusted voices in American journalism. She is the former host of NPR's All Things Considered and Founding Director of The Peabody Award-winning Race Card Project. Norris is the author of The Grace of Silence and has worked for ABC News, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times. Her work has been honored with Emmy, Peabody, Livingston, AP Feature Writing, International Women's Media Foundation and DuPont Awards. She is the Executive Director of The Bridge, the Aspen Institute's program that uses narrative exchange to create connections among people of different backgrounds and perspectives. Norris was born and raised in Minneapolis.


Milwaukee - Conan O'Brien

Conan O'Brien started his path in comedy when he served twice as the president of The Harvard Lampoon. Conan went on to become a writer and producer on several television shows, including Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons, until 1993, when NBC tapped him to take over as host of Late Night. Since then, Conan has hosted two Emmy Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, conducted two separate multi-city live comedy tours in 2010 and 2018, been the subject of a documentary titled Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, and performed at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner for two presidents. He's won three Emmy Awards and six Writers Guild Awards for comedy writing, the People's Choice Award for "Favorite Television Host," and is currently helming the show Conan, now in its 9th season on TBS. His popular Conan: Without Borders series has visited 9 countries, including Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, Qatar, Korea, Italy, Berlin, Armenia, and Japan. In 2015, Conan became the longest-working current late-night talk show host in the U.S., celebrating 25 years in 2018. Adding to his resume, in 2018 O'Brien launched the extremely popular podcast "Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend." The podcast has garnered both critical and commercial appeal, with New York magazine calling O'Brien "the perfect podcast host." Conan was born in Brookline, Massachusetts.


Cleveland - Carla Hall

Carla Hall is best known as a former co-host of ABC's Emmy Award-winning, popular lifestyle series The Chew. She currently appears on ABC's Strahan and Sara. She won over audiences when she competed on Bravo's Top Chef and Top Chef: All Stars and shared her philosophy to always cook with love. Carla believes food connects us all, and she strives to communicate this through her work, her cooking, and in her daily interactions with others. Carla is active with a number of charities and not-for-profit organizations that reflect her passion for causes close to her heart, including Helen Keller International, an organization that works to improve the lives of those with blindness, and to prevent the causes and consequences of blindness, poor health, and malnutrition. She is also the Culinary Ambassador for Sweet Home Cafe at the Smithsonian National Museum for African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., where she works to bring attention to and connects the experience of moving through the museum with the stories and history that inspires the food in the cafe.


Portland - Sam Kass

Sam Kass is the former White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition in the Obama administration. He is the founder of TROVE, a strategy firm focusing on improving health and sustainability of food and a venture partner in Acre Venture Partners. After cooking for the Obamas in Chicago for two years, Sam joined the White House kitchen staff in 2009. He took on several roles in the White House including Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign and Senior White House Policy Advisor for Nutrition. As one of the First Lady's longest-serving advisors, he helped the First Lady create the first major vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden. In 2011, Fast Company included Sam in their list of "100 Most Creative People," and in 2012, he helped create the American Chef Corps, which is dedicated to promoting diplomacy through culinary initiatives. He is an MIT Media Lab fellow and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Sam is the author of Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World, which was published by Clarkson Potter in 2018.


Vancouver & Edmonton - Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts is co-anchor of ABC's Good Morning America, founder of Rock'n Robin Productions, and a New York Times bestselling author. Under her leadership, the broadcast has won numerous Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning Program and the 2017 People's Choice Award for Favorite Daytime TV Hosting Team. Roberts has been honored with the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, as well as the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and named one of Glamour's Women of the Year. She was voted the "Most Trusted Person on Television" by a Reader's Digest poll in 2013. Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2007, and five years later, she was diagnosed with MDS. Roberts underwent a bone marrow transplant; her sister Sally-Ann was a perfect match. Her story triggered an outpouring of support from across the nation. Roberts was recognized with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY's in July 2013 for the strength and courage she has displayed throughout her life and career. Roberts is a native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and currently resides in New York City.


Tacoma - Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel serves as host and executive producer of the seven-time Emmy Award-nominated Jimmy Kimmel Live!, ABC's longest-running late-night talk show. Now in its 16th season, Jimmy Kimmel Live! produces some of the most popular comedy bits in late night and features a diverse lineup of guests including actors, musicians, athletes, comedians, authors, politicians, newsmakers, and the occasional random weirdo. Kimmel's monologue skewers pop culture and up-to-the-minute news. Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35/10:35 p.m. ET, broadcasting from Disney's El Capitan Entertainment Center in Hollywood.


Copenhagen - Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray is an Emmy Award-winning syndicated television star, an iconic Food Network television personality, bestselling cookbook author, Founder and Editorial Director of her own lifestyle magazine, Rachael Ray Every Day, and developer of a line of super premium dog and cat food and treats called Rachael Ray Nutrish. Additionally, Rachael is committed to changing the way America eats through Yum-o!, a program she founded to provide the tools to create easy, affordable, and delicious meals. Yum-o!'s three work areas include educating kids and their families about cooking, feeding hungry American kids and funding cooking education and scholarships. For this important work, Rachael received the honor of being named to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition by President Barack Obama in 2014.


Stockholm & Oslo & Toronto - Phoebe Robinson

Phoebe Robinson is a multitalented stand-up comedian, New York Times bestselling author, and actress. She is best known as the co-creator and co-star of the WNYC podcast turned hit HBO series 2 Dope Queens, which is returning to the cable network in 2019. She's also the author of the new essay collection about dating, money, and her love of U2 entitled Everything's Trash, But It's Okay. And if that's not enough, she's the co-host of another WNYC Studios podcast, Sooo Many White Guys, the critically acclaimed talk show where she interviews luminaries such as Tom Hanks, Issa Rae, Abbi Jacobson, and many more. Phoebe wrote the New York Times bestseller You Can't Touch My Hair & Other Things I Still Have to Explain, which is a collection of essays about race, gender, and pop culture. And she made her feature film debut this summer, starring in Netflix's Ibiza. She can be seen in the recently released Paramount film What Men Want, which premiered in February 2019.


London & Nashville - Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert currently hosts the Emmy-nominated late-night talk show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. From 2005 to 2014, he hosted The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, following his eight years as a correspondent on The Daily Show. The Report received two Peabody Awards, two Grammy Awards, five Emmy Awards, and thirty-seven total Emmy Nominations. Stephen is the author of five books. His most recent publication, Whose Boat Is This Boat?, reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. All of the proceeds for the book benefit the victims of Hurricane Florence and Michael.


Paris & Amsterdam - Isha Sesay

Isha Sesay is a seasoned and award-winning journalist who has covered global events and major breaking news of the past decade, with a focus on stories of social injustice and their impact on women and girls. Of Sierra Leonean descent, Sesay grew up in Britain and holds a BA honors English degree from Trinity College, Cambridge University. After graduating, she joined the BBC as a researcher, then moved to Sky Sports News where she hosted Good Morning Sports Fans. In 2005, Isha joined CNN International as an anchor and correspondent. As part of her anchoring and reporting duties, Sesay's impressive roster of interviews include numerous global leaders -- the Prime Ministers of Kenya and Australia, as well as the Presidents of Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone, and a host of newsmakers including Nancy Pelosi, David Beckham, Bill Gates, Bono, Richard Branson, Matt Damon, Michelle Obama, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Wangari Maathai, Malala Yousafzai, Leymeh Gbowee, and Denis Mukwege. Reporting from Nigeria in 2014, Sesay led the CNN team that covered the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. CNN's in-depth reporting was recognized with a Peabody Award. Sesay was awarded a Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor for her coverage of this story, in addition to other accolades during her tenure at the network. Sesay is also the Founder and President of W.E. (Women Everywhere) Can Lead, a nonprofit organization working in her native country of Sierra Leone, to nurture and empower teenage girls to become Africa's next generation of dynamic female leaders. In July 2019, Sesay's definitive account and first book, Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram (Dey Street Books) will be published. She currently lives in Los Angeles.


Montreal - Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett was the longest serving senior adviser to President Barack Obama and is one of the Obama family's oldest and closest friends. In the White House, Ms. Jarrett oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, and she chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Ms. Jarrett served as the chief executive officer of The Habitat Company headquartered in Chicago, and served as chair of several boards, including the University of Chicago, where Michelle Obama served as a senior vice president. She also held several senior positions in city government in Chicago, including deputy chief of staff to Mayor Daley, where in 1991 she first met and hired Michelle Obama. Jarrett has been Mrs. Obama's close friend, confidante, and advisor ever since. Valerie is currently a senior distinguished fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and a senior advisor to both the Obama Foundation and ATTN. She also serves on the boards of Lyft, 2U, and Ariel Investments. In her upcoming memoir, Finding My Voice (Viking), Valerie Jarrett shares her forthright, optimistic perspective on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century, inspiring others to lift their own voices.


Fort Lauderdale - Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams is the co-creator of the popular live show and podcast 2 Dope Queens, which aired as 4-hour-long specials on HBO. The show recently finished its second season with on March 1. Williams can soon be seen in Corporate Animals, which premiered in January 2019 at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as Booksmart, which is set to make its world premiere on March 10, 2019, at SXSW. In television, Williams will star in an upcoming episode of CBS All Access original series The Twilight Zone, which will premiere on March 26, 2019. Additionally, she will star, write, and executive produce an upcoming Showtime comedy series in which she will portray an aspiring science-fiction writer in Brooklyn. Her past television credits include The Daily Show, where she was the first African-American woman and youngest correspondent to date, HBO's Girls and Nickelodeon's Just for Kicks. In film, Williams recently seen in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Netflix's Summer 2017 release The Incredible Jessica James, and People Places Things.


Atlanta - Gayle King

Gayle King is co-host of CBS This Morning. An experienced television journalist, King interviews top newsmakers and delivers original reporting to CBS This Morning and all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. She is also Editor-at-Large of the award-winning O, the Oprah Magazine. She was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2018.