President Barack Obama led a grand celebration of Memphis Soul Music Tuesday night at the East Room of the White House in Washington. A star-studded line-up composed of famous soul/ R 'n' B artists were invited by the President and First Lady Michelle Obama to perform at "In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul", the latest installment in the series.
R 'n' B/pop superstar and current Billboard chart-topper Justin Timberlake headed the roster consisting of veteran musicians such as bandleader for the night Booker T. Jones, gospel singer Mavis Staples, guitarist and songwriter Steve Cropper, and electric blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite. Multi-instrumentalist Ben Harper also lent his musical talent to the exclusive event as Queen Latifah lent her star power to the guest list that included loyal Obama supporter Cyndi Lauper.
"Tonight I am speaking not just as President but as one of America's best-known Al Green impersonators," Pres. Obama joked during his opening speech about the "Let's Stay Together" singer. "I have a new appreciation for what Al once said about the Memphis Soul sound that he helped create," the music that the president said sought to "create a little harmony with harmony."
Pres. Obama concluded by introducing Southern soul singer Sam Moore who performed "Soul Man" with "American Idol" season eleven finalist Joshua Ledet.
The concert will be broadcast next Tuesday by PBS stations nationwide.