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Motown Brings the 'Sound Track of the Civil Rights Era' to the White House

PHOTO: Roy Lewis/Trice Edney News Wire

WASHINGTON ( - President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted music legends and contemporary major artists at the White House for a Black History celebration, “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House.” The Feb. 24 concert also celebrated the legacy of Motown Records. First Lady Michelle also welcomed more than 100 students from California, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and Washington, D.C. to take part in an interactive student workshop event, “The Sound of Young America: The History of Motown.”

Pictured onstage with Mrs. Obama are John Legend, who performed classic Motown songs; Motown icon Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy, who founded Motown 50 years ago, and Bob Santelli, executive director of the Grammy Museum. Performances included "Get Ready," ''The Way You Do the Things You Do," ''Can't Get Next to You" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg."

President Obama called it the “sound track of the civil rights era.” Performers also included Natasha Bedingfield, Sheryl Crow, Jamie Foxx, Gloriana, Nick Jonas, Ledisi, Amber Riley, Mark Salling, Seal and Jordin Sparks with Greg Phillinganes as the night’s music director.

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