President Barack Obama speaks during the introduction of “The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House”, which celebrated Black History Month and the legacy of Motown Records and its founder Berry Gordy.
The President said he couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Black History Month than to celebrate Motown, which was born in the basement of a house on West Grand Boulevard in the Motor City, noting Gordy’s ability to turn new talent into stars: “Soon the basement was turning out hits faster than Detroit was turning out cars.”
The event featured performances from Jamie Foxx, Ledisi, John Legend, Amber Riley, Seal, Jordin Sparks and more, including legends Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder, who joked he was only there to watch but felt compelled to perform “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” before everybody jumped to their feet for “Dancing in the Street”.
The opening medley with Jamie, John, Seal and Nick Jonas, is featured below. You can catch the full event when it airs Tuesday, March 1, on PBS. Check your local listings for times.