*At a concert in Virginia last week, Robin Thicke dedicated his single “Lost Without U” to Paula Patton just days after the couple announced their separation. On Sunday, he reportedly pulled out the big gun to woo her back – Al Green.
At his Sunday concert at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, the 36-year-old – still wearing his wedding ring – took a break mid-concert to interact with the crowd. A fan yelled out to Thicke, “I love Paula!”
The declaration prompted the singer to state one of his own: “I do too,” he said passionately. Following the interaction, he sang Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.”
Justin Timberlake performs as President Barack Obama looks on during a concert of Memphis Soul music as part of the “In Performance at the White House” series in the East Room of the White House April 9, 2013 in Washington, DC
President Barack Obama kicked off a celebratory night of Memphis Soul performances in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday night by suggesting a small change in presidential tradition, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Give it up for our musical director, Booker T. and the Memphis Soul All-Stars,” Obama told the audience, as Booker T. Jones wrapped up “Green Onions.” “I just want everybody to know that it is now my second term, so rather than ‘Hail to the Chief,’ we’re going with (‘Green Onions’) from here on out.”
It wasn’t a hard sell for this crowd, which gathered to hear Justin Timberlake, Alabama Shakes, William Bell, Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper, 2012 “American Idol” finalist Joshua Ledet, Sam Moore, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples and Jones perform a dozen Otis Redding hits as part of a night that event producer Ken Ehrlich dubbed “Otis for POTUS.”
Before moving on with the music, Obama announced the engagement of two White House staffers, Kenny Thompson, the director of Vice President Joe Biden’s messaging, and Jessica Wright, White House director of scheduling, according to a pool report. Obama said the two of them had worked for him since Iowa in 2007.
“A beautiful couple,” Obama told the crowd. “We love them. They are wonderful. They’ve been loyal, shown such great friendship to me, and I’m so glad that they have gone ahead and taken the plunge.”
After suggesting Timberlake as an excellent singer for the wedding reception (and noting that Timberlake recently married actress Jessica Biel, who was sitting in the front row), Obama said he has gained new appreciation for the Memphis Soul sound. ”Tonight, I am speaking not just as a president, but as one of America’s best-known Al Green impersonators,” Obama said, jokingly.
President Barack Obama hosts a concert of Memphis Soul music as part of the “In Performance at the White House” series in the East Room of the White House April 9, 2013 in Washington, DC
“In the ’60s and ’70s, Memphis knew its share of division and discord and injustice. But in that turbulent time, the sound of Hi, and Duke, and Sun, and Stax Records tried to bridge those divides — to create a little harmony with harmony,” Obama continued. “The great Memphis musician Don Nix went to an all-white school, and he described what it was like. He said, ‘If you could imagine, nobody’s ever heard R&B music before. White kids had never heard it. And you can imagine what that did to us.’
“So he and others kept playing music that everybody could get into. They created a whole new sound, and as they did, they broke down barriers.”
Tuesday’s event, called “In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul,” will be broadcast April 16 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide.
“We’ve got folks here who were there at the beginning, legends like Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite, William Bell and Eddie Floyd,” Obama said. “We’ve got artists like Cyndi Lauper, and Ben Harper, and Queen Latifah, who still turn to Memphis for inspiration. We’ve got Justin Timberlake, a proud son of Memphis who’s never forgotten his roots, and the Alabama Shakes, who are bringing the Muscle Shoals sound to a new generation.”
As Obama sat down in the front row with Michelle and their two daughters, Moore and Ledet sang a rousing rendition of “Soul Man.”
Sam Moore (L) and Joshua Ledet perform “Soul Man” for President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama (front row, C) during a concert of Memphis Soul music as part of the “In Performance at the White House” series in the East Room of the White House April 9, 2013 in Washington, DC
Other performances included Timberlake and Cropper singing “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” Alabama Shakes and Cropper performing “Born Under a Bad Sign,” and Lauper singing “Try a little Tenderness,” with Musselwhite on harmonica.
Timberlake lead an all-cast finale of “In the Midnight Hour” as the Obamas mingled onstage.
*By now we’ve all witnessed the president & first lady dancing to Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” being sung by Jennifer Hudson at the inaugural balls.
And yes, like you we were wondering why it wasn’t Al Green himself singing the classic, smooth out ditty. Hey nothing against Miss Hudson ’cause she ain’t no joke, b ut she’s not Al Green.
So what happened? WHERE was Al Green. That’s the question. Well, that’s what the AP’s Nekesa Mumbi Moody wanted to know as well.
Basically, she says, if things had worked out, it would have been Al serenading the Obamas Monday night.
In a statement to The Associated Press, his representative said Green had been asked to sing, but scheduling conflicts prevented him from attending Monday’s festivities. Green said he’d be honored to sing for the president in the future.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Obama famously sang a snippet of the song at an event last year that Green attended.
With the presidential race coming down to the wire, supporters from the entertainment industry like singers, rappers and actors have put their creativity within special campaign slogans and events to bring awareness to this year’s 2012 election.
International hip-hop rapper, TV host, humanitarian and actor, J Xavier is another supporter of the Barack Obama campaign. He recently released a video entitled, “Let’s Stay Together” originally sung by Al Green that President Barack Obama sung at the Apollo in Harlem, NY back in January earlier this year.
J. Xavier used his production team, added a couple of verses and added a sample from the song and created this track. This single is the third installment within the President Barack Obama campaigns that J. Xavier is supporting. The first two singles which were created in 2008 for the elections between President Obama and John McCain, “Go Tell Ya Mama, Vote for Obama” and upon winning the election “So Glad Ya Mama Voted for Obama” J. Xavier hopes for the single to get individuals to stay together for four more years so President Obama can finish what he has started.
For more on these videos, you can go to www.youtube.com. You can checkout the “Let’s Stay Together” video below and for more information on J Xavier, you can go to jxavier.blogspot.com.
Two days after Obama’s ad, Romney today released a web video mocking the president’s singing of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.”
The video juxtaposes Obama crooning “I’m so in love with you” with headlines about Obama rewarding lobbyists and campaign donors, similar to Obama’s ad showing Romney’s singing contrasted with headlines about Romney’s offshore financial holdings and Bain’s outsourcing.
*Right on cue, Mitt Romney backers have taken President Obama’s appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and put together an ad slamming him as the “the biggest celebrity in the world,” asking, “After four years with a celebrity President, is your life any better?”
The ad – produced by the GOP Super PAC American Crossroads, whose numbers include Karl Rove – shows clips of President slow-jamming the news, singing Al Green, dancing with Ellen DeGeneres, and even the President’s criticism about Kanye West post-Taylor Swift (“He’s a jackass”). [Scroll down to watch.]
Meanwhile, the Democrats are trying to tie Romney and his sensibilities to a popular show set in the pre-feminist, racially-tense time era of the mid to late 60s. Appearing earlier this week on “CBS This Morning,” Obama’s senior campaign strategist David Axelrod said of Romney, “He must watch ‘Mad Men’ and think it’s the evening news … [he's] oblivious to the experiences of everyday people.”