White House Memphis Soul Concert [PHOTOS/VIDEO]: Justin Timberlake, Joshua Ledet, Alabama Shakes Serenade President Obama, First Lady for 'In Performance at the White House' series

By D.Z.Scott (d.scott@mstarsnews.com) | Apr 10, 2013 02:41 PM EDT
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Obama Memphis Soul Night
(Photo : Reuters)


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The White House ushered in the soul funk, for Memphis Soul night, Tuesday, with performances by 20/20 Experience singer Justin Timberlake, Secret Lives of Bees actress/singer Queen Latifah and American Idol finalist Joshua Ledet.

"Let's face it, who does not love this music?" President Obama asked concert attendees Tuesday evening. The First Family sat in the front row as Obama welcomed performers and the guests including Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper, two musicians who helped form one of the city's first integrated bands, according to CBS News.


"These songs get us on the dance floor," Obama said. "They get stuck in our heads. We go back over them again and again. And they've played an important part in our history."

Obama said, Memphis, Tenn., was segregated in the 1960s, but blacks and whites came together despite the institutional racism to create a soulful blend of gospel and rhythmic blues music that sought to "bridge those divides, to create a little harmony with harmony," CBS News reported.


The concert was the 10th in the "In Performance at the White House" series since Obama took office. Other performers included Alabama Shakes, Ben Harper, Cyndi Lauper, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples and William Bell. Queen Latifah was the host and Jones led the band, CBS reported.

The Memphis Soul concert will be shown live on the White House website, http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

The program is set to be broadcasted next Tuesday by PBS stations nationwide, FOX News reported.

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