Obama reflects on Motown and more at Grammys


Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Alicia Keys, Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez speak onstage during the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Michelle Obama stole the show at the 61st Grammy Awards without singing a note.

The former first lady took the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Sunday night to honor Motown, Beyoncé and everything in between.

“From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the ‘who run the world’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” Obama, dressed a glimmering gray pantsuit, said over a standing ovation.

“And I know that’s true for everybody here. Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters, every story within every voice, every note within every song.”

‘Goddesses’ praised

Joined on stage by Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez, host Alicia Keys praised the “magnificent goddesses” who all spoke of the impact music had made on their lives.

“They said I was weird, that my look, my choices, my sound, that it wouldn’t work,” Lady Gaga said. “But music told me not to listen to them. Music took my ears, took my hands, my voice and my soul and it led me to all of you and to my little monsters who I love so much.

Lopez on roots

Lopez, meanwhile, went back to her roots in the Bronx, where she said music gave her “a reason to dance.”

“And it kept me moving from the block to the big stages and even bigger screens,” she said. “It reminded me where I come from, but it also reminded me of all the places that I can go. Music has always been the one place we can all feel truly free.”

Smith celebrated music’s ability to help artists and fans alike “express our pain, power and progress.”

“But here’s what I know, every voice we hear deserves to be honored and respected,” she said.


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