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Barack Obama thanked the performers with a handshake and greeted the audience with a speech. "Welcome to Washington, and welcome to this celebration of American renewal," he said. "As I stand here tonight, what gives me the greatest hope . . . is you: Americans of every race and region and station who came here because you believe in what this country can be and because you want to help us get there." Later, Shakira performed alongside Usher and Stevie Wonder, singing the soul legend's hit "Higher Ground."