Michelle Obama Got a Standing O at the Grammys — Here's Why

Just when you thought you were prepared for the 61st annual Grammy Awards, the evening’s festivities kicked off with a bang. Former first lady of the United States Michelle Obama made a surprise Grammys appearance, joining host Alicia Keys on stage with Grammy nominee Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez. Obama’s appearance got the entire Grammys audience on their feet with excitement, and when she got the mic, she shared why music matters to her.

Keys ditched the traditional award show opening monologue, instead standing to the side and letting four equally powerful women — Obama, Lady Gaga, Pinkett Smith and Lopez — take the stage with her. Each woman got a turn at the mic to say why music matters to her and why it has such a special place in her life. When it was Obama’s turn, the crowd gave her a warm standing ovation that continued until she had to affectionately hush them up, joking, “All right, we have a show to do!” before saying her piece.

“From the Motown records I wore out on the Southside to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” Obama said. “Music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes, our joys. Music shows us that all of it matters.”

She continued, “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?”

Obama’s moment was our favorite of the opening remarks. We also have love for the comments made by Gaga, Pinkett Smith and Lopez, but between Obama’s surprise appearance and Keys ending the opening moment with a delicious Beyoncé reference, asking the crowd, “Who run the world?” we’re just delighted by this Grammys opener. Also, we’re gonna make the gentle request that more award shows bring in Obama for surprise appearances, please and thank you, because she is a national treasure.

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