Motown Legends Play White House

Obamas host celebration of Detroit sound
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2011 2:36 AM CST

(Newser) – The White House grooved to the Motown sound at a star-studded celebration Thursday night. Before artists including John Legend, Seal and Jamie Foxx took the stage, President Obama called Motown music "the soundtrack of the civil rights era" and credited the Detroit sound with helping "blur the line between music that was considered either black or white," AP reports.

"As Motown rose, so did the forces of change in this country," Michelle Obama told an audience that included Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder, as well as Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. "During that time, it was the time of King and Kennedy, it was a time of marches and rallies and groundbreaking civil rights laws." Robinson joined Sheryl Crow onstage for You Really Got a Hold on Me before Wonder—saying "I couldn't just watch"—sang You Are the Sunshine of My Life. (Read more Motown stories.)

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