Alicia Keys may have been hosting the Grammy awards on Sunday night, but it was Michelle Obama who brought the house down: entering from offstage arm in arm with Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Jennifer Lopez, the former first lady joined her compatriots in recounting exactly why music was so important.
“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 said, as the crowd erupted in 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, our sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another, to invite one another in. Music shows us that all of it matters, every story, every voice, every note, in every song. Is that right ladies?” The response, both in the room and on social media, was rapturous:
Later, the former first lady and best-selling author posted an Instagram in which she contributed her appearance to her affection for Keys. “For me, a big part of friendship is showing up for your girls—whether that’s for a birthday, a quick catch-up after work, or a major milestone” Obama wrote. “So I was thrilled to be there for the one and only @aliciakeys at the #GRAMMYs. She is one of the most genuine, caring, and thoughtful people I know—there’s no one better to help us all celebrate the unifying power of music!” Try following that, recording artists.