President Barack Obama ended hosted his final musical night on Friday evening. The musical evening has been one of his favorite traditions at the White House. Obama and his wife Michelle began the annual event eight years ago to celebrate music that has helped shape America.
Concerts highlighting classic, country, blues, Broadway, gospel, Motown and Latin have been celebrated at the White House, and on Friday the Obama’s kicked off their final musical event, BET’s “Love and Happiness” in a tent on the White House’s South Lawn, according to the AP.
In opening remarks, the 55-year-old reflected on past performances at the White House during his tenure, recalling amazing performances by legendary musicians.
“We’ve had Bob Dylan and we’ve had Jennifer Hudson, Gloria Estefan and Los Lobos. Aretha, Patti, Smokey. I’ve had Paul McCartney singing ‘Michelle’ to Michelle and Stevie singing ‘Happy Birthday.”
“We’ve had Buddy Guy and Mick Jagger getting me to sing ‘Sweet Home Chicago. So this has been one of our favorite traditions, and it’s with a little bit of bittersweetness that this is our final musical evening as president and first lady.”
He spoke of the previous musical history of the White House, recalling guests of President John F. Kennedy who did the “twist” in the East Room, “which may not sound like a big deal to you, but that was sort of the twerking of their time,” Obama said.