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Obama Celebrates Blues Music at White House

  • Richard Green

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama listen to performance during the White House Music Series saluting Blues Music in recognition of Black History Month, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, February 21, 2012.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama listen to performance during the White House Music Series saluting Blues Music in recognition of Black History Month, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, February 21, 2012.

U.S. President Barack Obama caused a sensation, earlier this year, when he sang a few verses of the rhythm and blues classic "Let's Stay Together" at a campaign event in New York. The president got another chance to show off his musical skills Tuesday night, at a White House concert featuring the world's best blues musicians.

During the event, American blues great Buddy Guy urged the U.S. president to take the microphone and sing a verse of the classic blues song dedicated to Obama's adopted hometown of Chicago.

"Because I heard you...(C'mon!)...I heard you sing with Al Green, so you done started something, you gotta keep it up now!" Guy said. The president overcame his reluctance and traded lines with another blues legend, B.B. King.

"Come on...baby don't you want to go?," sang King. "Come on...baby don't you want to go?" the president responded in song, "Same old place..." sang King, "Sweet Home Chicago!" Obama responded.

The impromptu duet capped a celebration of the iconic American musical art form hosted by the president and his wife, Michelle.

"As we celebrate Black History Month, the blues reminds us that we've been through tougher times before. That's why I'm proud to have these artists here, not just as a fan but also as the president," he said.

The concert featured both veteran performers like Guy and King, along with younger blues artists such as Trombone Shorty and Shemekia Copeland. The highlight of the event was Mick Jagger, the lead singer of the blues-influenced superstar rock group, the Rolling Stones.

"I've been waiting in the hall, waiting for your call, and the phone rang," Jagger sang to the audience. "It's just some friends of mine, hey what's the matter now, we gonna come around 12 with some Puerto Rican girls that's just dying to meet you."

The concert will be broadcast next week as part of U.S. public television's "In Performance at the White House" musical series.

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