In honor of Black History Month, the Obamas hosted some very special guests at the White House to pay a musical tribute to Ray Charles, the Associated Press reports. Usher, Demi Lovato, Yolanda Adams, The Band Perry, Andra Day, and Anthony Hamilton were some of the stars on-hand to honor the late singer through music.
“Ray Charles had the rare ability to collapse our weightiest emotions into a single note,” President Obama said, calling Charles one of his musical favorites. The singer grew up in the segregated south and lost his eyesight as a child, but still managed to become a musical legend. “He couldn’t see us, but we couldn’t take our eyes off of him.”
While Obama wouldn’t sing, he enlisted stars like Usher to perform Charles’s famous hits, including “Georgia on My Mind” and “What I’d Say.” The program, the last “In Performance” event of Obama’s presidency, is scheduled to be broadcast on PBS this Friday, Feb. 26 at 9 p.m. ET.
“We’re going to have a lot of lasts coming up,” the First Lady said. “And this is the last of one of my favorite events of all time. So we figured we’ve got to go out with a bang, right?” What a bang, indeed.