After singer Alicia Keys opened tonight’s 2019 Grammy Awards, she brought a series of “magnificent goddesses” to the stage — including Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith, and the former first lady Michele Obama, Yahoo Music reports. Each of the women on stage took turns telling the crowd and viewers at home how music had impacted their lives personally.
The former first lady opened her remarks to a standing ovation as she stood before the crowd in a silver sequined outfit.
“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,” she said to a rapt 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.”
Predictably, it wasn’t just the crowd at the venue who went wild, but the internet at large, with enthusiastic support and hot takes quickly pouring in from all corners of social media.
“We never deserved Michele Obama,” tweeted one fan, while others pointed out that even though the show had just begun, they might as well end on a high note and cut things off after Obama’s appearance.
— Vinciane Ngomsi (@VincianeNgomsi) February 11, 2019
In addition to Obama’s words of musical empowerment and encouragement, the other women joining her on stage had their own messages to deliver.
Gaga pointed out that early in her career, she was considered weird and told that her sound wouldn’t work but that music has kept her moving and told her not to listen to detractors.
Lopez said that music gave her reasons to dance and paved the way for the success she’s enjoyed in her career.
Pinkett Smith spoke on music’s power to express pain, power, and progress.
Immediately following her appearance, Obama hopped on Instagram to recognize and thank Keys for including her among the musical heavy hitters who joined them on stage. She described Keys as genuine, caring, and thoughtful while also giving a nod to what she called “the unifying power of music.”
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For me, a big part of friendship is showing up for your girls—whether that’s for a birthday, a quick catch-up after work, or a major milestone. So I was thrilled to be there for the one and only @aliciakeys at the #GRAMMYs. She is one of the most genuine, caring, and thoughtful people I know—there’s no one better to help us all celebrate the unifying power of music!
While it was Michelle Obama center stage tonight, this isn’t the first Grammy moment for the Obama family. Barack Obama actually has two Grammys of his own, each for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio versions of his two books: Dreams From My Father and The Audacity Of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream.