Former First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance Sunday night at the Grammy Awards, alongside female entertainers Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lady Gaga, and Grammy Awards host, Alicia Keys.
NBC News reports that Obama, clad in a shimmering green jumpsuit, was greeted by a “25-second standing ovation as she spoke about the importance of music” to her life.
“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, and I know that’s true for everybody here,” Obama told the audience. “Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters. Every story within every voice, every note within every song. Is that right, ladies?”
The crew posed for pictures both before and after Obama’s stage appearance and CNN reports that Obama followed up her appearance with a late night Twitter thanking her onstage colleagues.
“A big part of friendship is showing up for your girls—that’s why I was thrilled to be there for the one and only @aliciakeys at the #GRAMMYs. She is one of the most genuine and thoughtful people I know—there’s no one better to help us all celebrate the unifying power of music!” she tweete
Michelle Obama has been on something of a world publicity tour of late, after publishing her landmark book, “Becoming,” which quickly became an international bestseller. The former First Lady has also embarked on a multi-city arena book tour, sold out almost everywhere, dwarfing other authors on her imprint, and largely embarrassing her competitors — notably, Bill and Hillary Clinton who have all but canceled their joint book tour.
The PR full court press has left many wondering if Michelle Obama is being groomed for a future in national politics, particularly whether Michelle will run for president in either 2020 or 2024.
Despite the former First Lady’s star power — or perhaps, because of it — the Grammys did worse than expected Sunday night, pulling in 8% fewer viewers in their target 18-49 demographic than the year before — an all-time low for the awards show, according to Deadline. Overall, viewership for the Grammys remained about the same.
What did change was the Grammys’ political content. Other than an appearance by Obama, the show had far fewer jabs at President Donald Trump than last year, and the only controversial acceptance speech was by Drake, who loudly announced, while holding his gramaphone statuette, that the Grammys were unnecessary and that music had moved beyond the traditional boundaries of the recording industry.
Behind the scenes, the Grammys made up for it slightly. Besides feteing the former First Lady, the Grammys’ unofficial official party — a gala hosted by legendary music producer Clive Davis — hosted Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who was the belle of the ball. Fox News reports that A-list celebrities and music industry luminaries “flocked” to the Speaker of the House for selfies and private pow-wows.