Coming up Wednesday

Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
May 31st, 2012
07:49 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Thursday, May 31, 2012


Criminologist Casey Jordan was on set today, and she kicked off our playlist with Fiona Apple's "Criminal." The Grammy and VMA-winning song is the biggest hit of Apple's career, and has been included in VH1 and Blender's "Best-Of" lists.

Margaret Hoover was back on our panel today and, as always, picked a couple of great songs for the playlist. Today they were Fatboy Slim's "Praise You," his only U.S. Top 40 hit, and Arcade Fire's recent rock hit "Rebellion (Lies)."

Hoover was joined on the panel by Marc Lamont Hill, Ph.D., the Columbia University professor and journalist. First up from Marc's playlist was Erykah Badu's "Honey." The 2008 hit included a 30-year old sample of jazz singer Nancy Wilson.

Marc also picked Stevie Wonder's "All I Do," a track from his 1980 album Hotter than July. Wonder is one of the most successful artists in the history of popular music, both as a singer and as a songwriter.

Kanye West made our playlist for the second day in a row, this time with "Amazing," a pick from Starting Point anchor Soledad O'Brien. The song is from his best-selling 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak. Soledad also picked Beyonce's "Video Phone."

Will Cain rounded out the panel with a couple of acclaimed songs: Bob Seger's 1978 hit "Hollywood Nights," and Don Henley's "Boys of Summer," which Rolling Stone included in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Charlie Foley, who created the buzzworthy documentary Mermaids: The Body Found, stopped by today's Starting Point and brought along a fitting song for our playlist: "This Is the Sea," a song from the 1985 album of the same name by The Waterboys.

Finally, Christine Romans contributed a song today: "Keep Your Hands to Yourself," the early eighties hit from the Georgia Satellites.

May 30th, 2012
01:12 PM ET

Democratic strategist Christine Pelosi dismisses 'ridiculous' Trump, shifts focus to real issues

Mitt Romney became the presumptive Republican nominee yesterday after his Texas primary win helped him reach the magic number of 1,144 delegates. You would think that Romney clinching would be the top political story of the day, but instead, a Romney surrogate and fundraiser is making headlines of his own.

Businessman and entertainment figure Donald Trump is in the news yet again for claiming that President Obama was not born in the U.S. Democratic strategist Christine Pelosi stopped by today's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien" to discuss how Trump stumping for Romney many or may not affect the campaign.

"Donald Trump is only saying loudly what a lot of Republicans have been dog whistling for months…it's ridiculous and it has to stop," Pelosi said.

"I'm glad Governor Sununu [refuted Donald Trump earlier on Starting Point] but I'd also like to hear that from Governor Romney."

Pelosi noted that it is important that people focus on real issues such as jobs, the economy and the empowerment of working families, but got into a debate with panelist Margaret Hoover as to whether or not President Obama is a job creator.

"No doubt, we need to do better," Pelosi said, but noted that President Obama has indeed improved upon his predecessor.

Pelosi is the daughter of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who during her time as Speaker of the House, was the highest ranking woman in the history of the United States. She is the author of two politically-themed books and writes frequently for The Huffington Post.

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Filed under: 2012 Race • Birthers • Politics
May 30th, 2012
08:28 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Kanye West's "All of the Lights" kicked off our Starting Point playlist this morning, a pick from panelist Margaret Hoover. The 2011 Top 20 hit features vocals from a wide variety of artists ranging from Elton John to Fergie.

Margaret also picked Joe Cocker's 1969 cover of "Feelin' Alright" and Lifehouse's 2007 hit "First Time."

Ron Brownstein of the National Journal was a panelist today and brought two rock gems with him. First up was "Pride and Joy" by the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan, followed by "Keep the Car Running," Arcade Fire's critically acclaimed 2007 hit.

Will Cain picked a soft-rock classic for his first playlist pick this morning: Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down." The 1989 hit was Petty's first release without his frequent band The Heartbreakers. Will also picked James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World." The 1966 single was a Top 10 hit for the Godfather of Soul.

Of course, Will also went a little country, picking "Time Marches On," the mid-nineties hit by Tracy Lawrence.

SP host Soledad O'Brien picked a couple of songs herself for today's playlist. Soledad picked "Shine" by Ledisi and Chaka Khan's classic "Tell Me Something Good." The song, a Top 5 hit in 1974, was written by Stevie Wonder.

May 29th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Today's Starting Point playlist kicked off with a pick from panelist "HuffPost Live" host Alicia Menendez: "Feels So Good" by Mase. The song was  a top five hit in 1997, and was produced by hip hop mogul Diddy, then known as Sean "Puffy" Combs. Alicia also picked Seal's first single "Krazy,"  the first of his many soulful hits.

CNN Contributor Margaret Hoover was also on our panel this morning, and brought along a couple of rap classics. Up first was The Gourds' cover of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice," followed by the smash hit "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. "I love Jay-Z," Hoover said. "His New York anthem makes all New Yorkers (and all wannabe New Yorkers) proud."

Will Cain's playlist pick today was "Swingin'" by John Anderson. Will remembers listening to the song with a friend as kids and laughing to the "funny song."

Starting Point anchor Soledad O'Brien contributed a song today as well: the Stevie Wonder classic "Superstition." Believe it or not, the number one hit will be forty years old this October.

Also heard on today's show were Steve Go0dman's "Go Cubs Go" and Oingo Boingo's "Weird Science."

May 28th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Monday, May 28, 2012


Inspiring four year old Anthony Smith was on the show today and picked  "Boston" by Augustana for our playlist. The 2005 hit peaked at number 34  on the Billboard Hot 100 and cracked the top 10 on the Adult Pop Songs chart. The track has been featured in TV shows ranging from Scrubs to One Tree Hill

"Got" by Mos Def made John Fugelsang's playlist today. The song is from Mos Def's debut album Black on Both Sides, which went Gold after its release in 1999.

Wilco's "Jesus, Etc." was New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza's playlist pick today. The track can be heard on the group's album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which is one of the newest albums included in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Will Cain's playlist pick this morning was "Brown Sugar" by The Rolling Stones. The classic rock song was a number one hit for the Stones in 1971.

Another number one hit– separated by 37 years– was Coldplay's "Viva La Vida," which hit the top of the Billb0ard Hot 100 in 2008.



May 25th, 2012
09:17 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Friday, May 25, 2012


Today's Starting Point playlist kicked off with a pick from one of our panelists, The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza. Ryan picked "Blue Orchid" by The White Stripes. Former Stripes frontman Jack White recently scored his first number one album with his debut solo release Blunderbuss.

Lizza also picked "Wrecking Ball," a song by country great Emmylou Harris. The song, originally written by Neil Young, was chosen as the title track to Harris' 1995 rock album.

Christine Romans filled in for Soledad O'Brien in the anchor seat today, and picked a few songs for today's playlist as well. Up first was "No Brakes," a track from The Bravery's self-titled debut album.  Christine also picked "Make Some Noise" by the Beastie Boys and the Foo Fighters' "My Hero."

Alicia Menendez stopped by our panel this morning and brought along a pretty diverse bunch of tunes. Alicia's first pick was Salt N Pepa's 1993 smash "None of Your Business," followed by the late, great Selena's "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom."

"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" from Michael Jackson's legendary album Thriller also made Alicia's playlist today, as well as the current hit "International Love" by Pitbull ft. Chris Brown.

Will Cain also contributed a song to our playlist this morning: "It's Alright" by Big Head Todd & the Monsters. The track is off of the band's platinum 1993 album Sister Sweetly.

May 24th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Thursday, May 24, 2012


Today's Starting Point playlist kicked off with "Rebellion (Lies)" by Arcade Fire, a pick from panelist Margaret Hoover. The song was highly acclaimed, and is the band's most successful release to date in the UK, charting in the Top 20.

Margaret also picked Elvis Costello's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" and Lyle Lovett's "I've Been To Memphis." The song is from Lovett's 1992 album Joshua Judges Ruth, which skyrocketed to popularity after Lovett began dating actress Julia Roberts.

The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza was an SP panelist this morning and brought along a couple of greats: "Bye, Bye Baby" by Janis Joplin and Sonic Youth's "Silver Rocket," which Rolling Stone included in their list of the 100 greatest guitar songs of all time.

Joel Stein, TIME columnist and the author of the new book Man Made: A Stupid Quest For Masculinity stopped by our show this morning and picked a couple of songs for our playlist: Pearl Jam's "Better Man" and "Hey Man (Now You're Really Living)" by Eels, who are likely best known for their 1997 Modern Rock hit "Novocaine for the Soul."

Per usual, panelist Will Cain picked a bunch of classics for our SP playlist. Up first was Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down",
which was Petty's first hit without his frequent band The Heartbreakers. Will also picked Stone Larue's "Look At Me Fly" and "Honky Tonk Woman" by The Rolling Stones.

Christine Romans picked "Blister in the Sun," a track from the Violent Femmes' debut album, which has been heard in many films and TV shows. "I love Midwest bands," Christine said of the Femmes, who hail from Wisconsin. "This song always reminds me of when I was a kid."

Economist Grover Norquist appeared via satellite from Washington, D.C. and picked "Green Onions" by Booker T and the MG's. The R&B band will celebrate fifty years together this summer.

Also heard on today's Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien: "Fidelity," singer Regina Spektor's biggest hit to date.

May 23rd, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Sen. Ron Johnson kicked off today's Starting Point playlist with "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," George Harrison's classic Beatles song. The track is widely considered to be one of Harrison's finest compositions, and was ranked among the greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone.

Political commentator Margaret Hoover was one of our panelists this morning, and brought along a diverse couple of songs for the playlist. Up first was "Eva" by Latin funk group Ozomatli. The track is off of the band's self titled 1998 debut album. Hoover also picked "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen, which has been recorded over a thousand times by artists ranging from The Grateful Dead to Motorhead.

Will Cain's first playlist pick today was The Black Crowes' "Jealous Again." The song was the band's first single, released in 1990. Will also picked Everclear's 1997 hit "Father of Mine."

Men in Black III star Alice Eve stopped by the Starting Point set today, and brought along Pitbull's "Back in Time." The song can be found on the soundtrack to the new film, which hits theaters this Friday.

Panelist Roland Martin picked a couple of throwbacks today. Up first was "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5. The song was the first of many number ones for Michael Jackson, who has reached the top of the charts in six decades, including the current one with "Hollywood Tonight," which topped the Hot Dance Chart last year. Martin also picked the Parliament classic "Flashlight."

Do you have a suggestion for our playlist? Post your pick in the comment box below or send us a tweet at @StartingPtCNN!

May 7th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Monday, May 7, 2012


We kicked off today's Starting Point playlist with a pick from panelist Jay Thomas, an Emmy Award-winning actor. Jay picked "Love in America" by JTX, whose debut album From Detroit With Love is now available online. He also picked Doc Watson's "Tennessee Stud."

Reddit founder Alexis Ohanihan stopped by the show today and brought Jay-Z's "Young Forever" featuring Mr. Hudson along with him. When the 2010 hit cracked the Billboard top ten, it tied Jay-Z with Ludacris for the most rap songs to make the top ten.

"The Good Life" by Kanye West was CNN's education contributor Dr. Steve Perry's music pick this morning. The song was a hit for the rapper in 2007, and sampled parts of Michael Jackson's classic "(P.Y.T.) Pretty Young Thing."

British band Coldplay made Christine Romans' playlist today with "Hurts Like Heaven." The track is from the group's most recent album Mylo Xyloto, which was their fifth straight album to hit number one in their native U.K. Christine also played "Too Many Rappers" by The Beastie Boys ft. Nas, in honor of founding Beastie Adam Yauch, who passed away Friday after a battle with cancer.

WSJ writer Chris Farley was on our show today to discuss the box office success of The Avengers, and he also picked a song for today's playlist: Peter Tosh's "Wanted Dread and Alive." The late reggae legend spent many years performing with Bob Marley and The Wailers.

The Carter and Wipf families have been making headlines for their innovative ideas, and they made an appearance on today's Starting Point, bringing along Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door." The song was the biggest hit of The Who guitarist's solo career.

Graceland's Director of Communications was a guest on SP today and, of course, picked an Elvis song to add to our playlist: "It's Now or Never." The song was just one of The King's' 17 number one hits.

May 3rd, 2012
09:04 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Thursday, May 3, 2012


Today's Starting Point playlist kicked off with some wishful thinking from Christine Romans: Kid Rock's "All Summer Long." The song is the biggest hit of Rock's career; it topped the charts in several countries and has become a staple of rock radio for the past few summers.

SP panelist Abby Huntsman was in a Maroon 5 mood this morning. First up was the band's current single "Payphone," the hit collab with Wiz Khalifa which the band debuted on The Voice and currently sits at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Up next was the group's '07 Grammy-nominated hit "Won't Go Home Without You," and "Stutter," a cut from their latest album Hands All Over. Abby also strayed a bit from Adam Levine and co., playing "Bruises" by Train ft. Ashley Monroe.

Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill was on our panel today and brought a couple of classics with him: MC Lyte's groundbreaking 1988 song "Paper Thin," and "What's the 411?," the title track from Mary J. Blige's debut album, and "The Glow of Love" by Change.

Will Cain, as usual, gave us a country vibe this morning, with The Marshall Tucker Band's "Heard It in a Love Song" and Bob Schneider's "Big Blue Sea."

Former Celebrity Apprentice star Dayana Mendoza made an appearance on today's show, and contributed a couple of picks for our playlist: "Lovumba" by Daddy Yankee and The Wanted's smash hit "Glad You Came."

Finally, Mel McDaniel's "Louisiana Saturday Night" was heard on today's Starting Point, courtesy of Louisiana's current governor Bobby Jindal.

(A quick note on our links to buy the songs: Kid Rock's music can only be purchased as part of a full album.)

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