President Obama Bobbles Spelling of Famous Tune - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

President Obama Bobbles Spelling of Famous Tune

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) - He bobbled the spelling, but President Barack Obama had nothing but R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the "women of soul" who shook and rattled the rafters of the White House on Thursday night.

"What a lineup!" Obama declared at the outset of a concert that featured a generations-spanning array of soul singers that stretched from musical legends Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle to 20-year-old Ariana Grande.

Obama paid tribute to Franklin for turning her signature song "Respect" into "a rallying cry for African-Americans, women and then everyone who felt marginalized."

The pumped-up audience gave a hearty laugh but was more than willing to forgive the president for spelling it "R-S-P-E-C-T."

First up in the East Room lineup was LaBelle, with a thundering delivery of "Over the Rainbow" that had the audience on its feet.

It was a mutual admiration society of sorts as LaBelle thanked the Obamas for their tenure in the White House, declaring, "Baby, you got swag!"

Grande, the youngster in the group, seemed in awe of her fellow performers and the august audience. Her lead-in: "What's up? How are you? Good to see you. Thank you for having me."

The emotional high point came when Franklin, 71, sauntered in, gave a shimmy and declared "Let's have a party." Then she went right into "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" She was back later to close down the show with what Obama called "one more treat," - a slow, soulful rendition of "Amazing Grace" that turned rowdy at the end.

But first, all the other ladies - including Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott and Tessanne Chin - collaborated on a rollicking delivery of "Proud Mary."

The concert was livestreamed at WhiteHouse.gov/live and will be broadcast as "In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul" on April 7 on PBS.

At a morning arts workshop for high school and college students, first lady Michelle Obama called soul "the kind of music that makes you move, no matter who you are or where you come from."

LaBelle, Etheridge and Monae had plenty of stories and advice to share with the students, then got them whooping, hooting and swaying with a trio of songs in the intimate venue of the State Dining Room.

Mrs. Obama quoted LaBelle as once saying that she had succeeded because she "took chances and sang my butt off."

The first lady tried her own riff on that advice - then admitted she may have taken it a little too far.

"Find your own voice and be proud of it," she said. "And then, sing your butt off. Or work your butt off. Or whatever you do, do it until your butt comes off. "

Then she added: "OK, that quote is going to be kind of funny in the papers. I already know it. My communications people are like, 'What?' But you guys all know what I meant - be good at what you do. "

The concert was scheduled as part of Women's History Month.

Said the president: "As someone who always shares this house with brilliant, creative, talented, somewhat stubborn women, I think Women's History Month is the perfect time to honor a few more: the women of soul."

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • All Bets Off As AC's Revel Hotel Casino Shuts Down

    All Bets Off As AC's Revel Hotel Casino Shuts Down

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:41 AM EDT2014-09-02 10:41:14 GMT

    Atlantic City's Revel Hotel and Casino has officially closed its doors Tuesday morning, a little more than two years after opening and following months of financial struggles.

    Atlantic City's Revel Hotel and Casino has officially closed its doors Tuesday morning, a little more than two years after opening and following months of financial struggles.

  • 1 Person Killed in Bethel Township Accident

    1 Person Killed in Bethel Township Accident

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:03 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:03:33 GMT
    1 person was killed in an accident in Bethel Township, Delaware County on Monday evening.Initial reports indicate that a vehicle may have hit a tree and overturned. It happened on the 3300 block of Foulk Road around 8:30pm.Foulk Road was closed for several hours while police investigated the crash scene.Stay with Fox 29 News for updates.
    1 person was killed in an accident in Bethel Township, Delaware County on Monday evening.Initial reports indicate that a vehicle may have hit a tree and overturned. It happened on the 3300 block of Foulk Road around 8:30pm.Foulk Road was closed for several hours while police investigated the crash scene.Stay with Fox 29 News for updates.
  • Council Rock South Mourns The Loss Of Three Classmates

    Council Rock South Mourns The Loss Of Three Classmates

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:23 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:23:09 GMT
    Three boys from Council Rock South High School died over the weekend when their SUV overturned.
    Three boys from Council Rock South High School died over the weekend when their SUV overturned.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices