After serving this country as the first African American president for eight amazing years, the time has come to bid farewell to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle as we count down their final months in office.
Since entering the White House, the Obamas have shared their love for music with the world. They have held concerts honoring music stars that have shaped America. Because this year will be their final one, BET has decided to join forces with the First Couple and make it a special one as a celebration to the President and his first lady.
President Obama opened up the show excited, saying, “Well you can tell what kind of night this is. That was not the usual rumbles and flourishes. That was not John Phillip Sousa right there. This must be a BET event.”
Obama shared a small piece of history in his speech saying that music has always been in the White House, going back with president Teddy Roosevelt listening to the sounds of Scott Joplin to The Kennedys doing the twist in the East Room. “The twist may not sound like a big deal to you but that was sort of the twerking in their time. There will also be no twerking tonight,” Obama said jokingly. “At least not by me. I don’t know about Usher.”
Obama also said that the true celebration of music is not just rooted in black people, but American people as a whole.
“This is the people’s house. It ought to reflect the amazing diversity, and the imagination and the incredible ingenuity of the American People. And while some of the music you will hear is gospel, r&b, rap is rooted in the African American experience, it’s not just black music this is an essential part of the American experience.”
Movie co-stars Terrence J and Regina Hall hosted the special evening sharing honorable memories about the commander in chief. “Being able to call you Mr. President for two terms, I think I can speak for everyone, it fills us with enormous pride,” Terrence J said. “Eight years later there are children who only know a black man as President of the United States. For You sir, ‘Hope’ was never a slogan but a fundamental philosophy world view and we are stronger as a nation because of your leadership,” Regina Hall added.
The music celebration kicked off with soul songstress Jill Scott performing her hit song “Golden.” Rapper Common performed his classic hit “The light” and “Glory” from the motion picture Selma alongside gospel artist Yolanda Adams. Singer Jenelle Monae blessed the mic singing her rendition of the classic single “Smile” reflecting on Obama’s dream and hope for the country.
90’s R&B group Belle Biv DeVoe, famously known as BBD, took us way back performing their epic hit single “Poison” that got everyone up on their feet and jamming.
Yolanda Adams returned to the stage with fellow gospel greats Kiera ‘KiKi’ Sheard and Michelle Williams. The ladies took us to church with their electrifying high-energy gospel performance that had the President and First Lady clapping and stomping with joy.
Some of Hollywood’s notable actors and actresses also shared special messages to the first couple, thanking them for their eight years of service.
Actor and activist Jessie L. Williams spoke greatly about Mr. President and First Lady, saying, “We understand what you endure and we appreciate the model that you set and ceilings that you break demonstrating the real value of leadership, preparation of fatherhood and dignity.”
Actress Angela Bassett spoke on why she fell in love with The Obamas. “I kind of know what it’s like to be married to a man who’s a pretty big deal when you’re a pretty big deal yourself. To be married a to a man who has dedicated his life to be something bigger than himself,” she said. “Making the world a better place is to live a life beyond your love for each other and imagine a future beyond your lives together Mrs. Obama.”
The celebration evening closed out with soul band The Roots performing alongside Usher bringing the house down. The first couple joined them on stage.
Though the night was incredible with great music and performances, it was truly bittersweet as we only have a few months left before we say goodbye to our favorite first family.
Written by: Tiffany Hercules