The While House and PBS hosted a Ray Charles tribute concert in the East Room on Wednesday night, and following some words from Barack Obama, our nation’s president joined an all-star line-up and sang portions of Charles’ legendary 1959 hit, “What’d I Say.”
Usher led the performance and was joined on stage by Brittany Howard, Leon Bridges, Demi Lovato and others. Obama briefly chimed in during the moaning call-and-response breakdowns of the song to provide a few “oh’s” when Usher put the mic in his face.
The “In Performance At The White House” series has had a few installments during Obama’s administration, and the president expressed sadness that this performance would be his last one in office. Obama also spoke at the event, introducing the festivities with a claim he would soon go back on: “I will not be singing, but for our last one, it is fitting that we pay tribute to one of our favorites, one of the most brilliant and most influential musicians of our times: the late, great genius himself, Mr. Ray Charles.”
Watch the performance below, beginning at 2:23.