Michelle Obama, Jill Biden honor military families

    Military children and their families were in for a treat last night as they gathered in Washington, D.C., to ring in the inaugural weekend with an evening of music and celebration.
    The first and second ladies, along with the Obama children and Biden grandchildren, joined military families in support of our troops at a children’s concert Saturday evening in Washington, D.C. Nick Cannon hosted the event, which was filled with performances by some of today’s hottest artists.
    Usher was up first, going through entertaining versions of “Yeah,” “OMG” and “Without You,” complete with dance breaks to the delight of the young crowd. He saluted the troops, stating, “Thank you for all the service men and women who stand on the front line for us.”
    Far East Movement kept the crowd moving with their hits “Turn Up the Love” and “Live My Life,” and made sure to acknowledge the families that they were there in support of.
    During several breaks during the show, Disney cast members and other well-known personalities in the world of entertainment came on the big screen to greet the audience and salute military families. Kerry Washington, Ryan Seacrest, the cast of the children’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba” and others all made an appearance and were met with cheers by audience members.
    A performance by Illuminate delighted the crowd as the performers danced on the big screen in light suits to the tunes of the band The Wanted. Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago choir performed with Black Violin, and then again later on with Dane Everett Criss (Blaine of “Glee” fame) on the piano playing an original song. Dane continued to display his musical prowess with an acoustic guitar performance of the song “Valerie” with castmate Naya Rivera, who plays Santana on “Glee.”
    Amber Riley (Mercedes of “Glee”) blew the crowd away with a new look and her incredible vocals. Looking stunning with a short hairstyle and honey-blond side bangs, Amber belted out “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera in the sassy-sweet style that she made famous on “Glee.”
    Mindless Behavior looked dapper in black suits as they entertained the crowd with their hits “My Girl” and “Mrs. Right.” Group member Princeton (whose big curls are always gorgeous) greeted the first family—especially the first daughters Malia and Sasha. Malia made the crowd laugh when she received Princeton’s compliement, “Malia, you’re looking lovely,” with a silly, slightly sarcastic nod and wave.
    Katy Perry closed out the show in star-spangled fashion, complete with a bedazzled red, white and blue ensemble. She belted out her hits “Teenage Dream,” “Part of Me,” “Wide Awake” and, of course, “Fireworks” while strutting across the stage and breaking it down with her back-up dancers.
    In spite of all of the amazing performances, one of the most memorable moments of the night certainly had to be when Jaylin, a fourth-grader from New Jersey, came out to eloquently introduce Dr. Jill Biden, who co-founded the Joining Forces program responsible for putting on the children’s concert.
    “The first lady and I are so excited to be here with all these military kids,” Dr. Biden said while looking fierce in a yellow off-the-shoulders dress and knee-high black boots. “The first lady and I knew from the start that we wanted to celebrate the strength and service of our military families. That’s why we started Joining Forces: our efforts to encourage all Americans to find ways to honor and support our troops, veterans and military families.”
    Dr. Biden then introduced the first lady, who was sporting new, face-framing bangs and a straight style. Michelle spoke on all the events going on for inauguration weekend, “and let me tell you I love every single minute of it,” she said. “But let me tell you that my very favorite part of this entire weekend is being right here with all of you.”

    —Ariana Gordon


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