The White House has seen concerts before, but none as lavish or star-studded as this. President Obama hosted a celebration of the music that powered the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Obama also praised two white artists who joined the civil rights movement, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.
“The civil rights movement was a movement sustained by music,” said Obama. “It was lifted by spirituals inspired by the Bible. It was sharpened by protest songs about wrongs that needed righting. It was broadened by folk artists like the New York-born daughter of immigrants and a young storyteller from Minnesota.”
The president himself led a final singsong with all the invited artists, including Smokey Robinson, Nathalie Cole, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams and John Mellancamp.