From: Byron Tau
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2016 8:03 PM
To: Rutherford, Sarah D. EOP/WHO
Subject: In-town pool #2 -- BET event
Pool was ushered into a tent on the South Lawn at 7:22 pm for BET's "Love and Happiness: A Musical Experience." The show is being taped to air at a later date. Pool was granted access for the President's remarks and the first song by Jill Scott.
We're told by those in the know that it was the same tent used for the State Dinner for the Italian PM earlier in the week.
Pool spotted our press corps colleague April Ryan in the audience as well as Valerie Jarrett, Rep. Elijah Cummings, Ron Kirk and DNC chair Donna Brazile. Pool is not very good with celebrities and famous people but our colleagues pointed out Jasmine Guy, Usher, Naomi Campbell, and Gayle King.
A sharply dressed crowd was entertained by a military jazz band and guided to their seats by military ushers until the president and First Lady entered at 7:49 pm. Pool could hear someone chanting "Four more years!"
POTUS began speaking a moment later, joking about the funky beat that he was introduced to. "This must be a BET event," he said, joking that it was a long way from John Philip Souza.
He rattles off all the musicians he's had at the White House: Buddy Guy, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, etc, etc.
"This is our final musical evening as president and First Lady", he said drawing "awwws." "it's going to be all right," he said soothingly.
"This is one of the perks I will miss most along with Air Force One and Marine One," POTUS said about music in the White House. He jokes in private life he won't be able to call up Usher or Janelle Monae.
He adds that he won't be singing Al Green tonight. POTUS also thanks the Marine Band, noting that they're not just excellent musicians but also active-duty.
Obama talks about the history of music at the White House, noting that Chester A. Arthur invited an all black group and Theodore Roosevelt hosted noted black composer Scott Joplin.
POTUS also noted that the Kennedys also did reportedly did "The Twist" at the White House, which POTUS called "the twerking of their time."
"There will also be no twerking tonight. At least not by me," POTUS said, joking that he can't speak for Usher.
POTUS wrapped up at 7:57 pm.
Jill Scott then took the stage, playing "Run, Run, Run."
Pool was ushered out at 8:01 pm as Scott played "He Loves Me."
Reporter, Wall Street Journal
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