*Eight years ago, President Obama and Michelle Obama began reserving certain evenings to celebrate music that has helped shape America. On Friday, their favorite tradition at the White House came to an end.
Concerts highlighting classic, country, blues, Broadway, gospel, Motown and Latin have been celebrated at the White House, and on Friday the Obama’s hosted their final musical event, BET’s “Love and Happiness” in a tent on the White House’s South Lawn, according to the Associated Press.
“We’ve had Bob Dylan and we’ve had Jennifer Hudson. Gloria Estefan and Los Lobos. Aretha, Patti, Smokey,” President Obama said to open the show. “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,'” he continued. “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.”
Jill Scott opened the show which also featured performances by Usher, the Roots, Bell Biv DeVoe, Janelle Monae, De La Soul, Yolanda Adams, Michelle Williams and Kiki Sheard.
“There will be no twerking tonight,” Obama joked. “At least not by me. I don’t know about Usher.”
Actors Samuel L. Jackson, Jesse Williams of Grey’s Anatomy and Angela Bassett were also on hand to celebrate Terrence J, the former host of BET’s 106 & Park, and actress-comedian Regina Hall were the presenters.
Obama described the ability to summon celebrities as “one of the perks of the job that I will most, along with Air Force One, and Marine One,” the presidential helicopter. “You know, if you can just call up Usher and say, ‘Hey, come on over …'”
BET says it will broadcast the show on Nov. 15.