Aretha Franklin, Shirley Caesar Help President Obama Celebrate Gospel

Aretha Franklin, Shirley Caesar Help President Obama Celebrate Gospel

The first family paid homage to the soulful genre of music last night.

Published April 15, 2015

Last night, Washington, D.C., received a blessing, a treat and a concert that will go down in White House history for sure.

During the latest installment of the PBS series In Performance at the White House, viewers will have the chance to see gospel and soul legends like Pastor Shirley Caesar, Aretha Franklin, Darlene Love and others take the stage.

President Obama showed his connection to the genre and its importance in American history touching on gospel's role as a mechanism of hope during slavery.


"Songs were where their dreams took flight, where they expressed faith and love, as well as pain and fear and unimaginable loss. They sang songs of liberation, if not for their bodies in this world, then for their souls in the next."

First Lady Michelle Obama also acknowledged how the spirituality connected with gospel music helps people get through tough times.

"It's what helps connect us to God, to that higher power," she said. "And for so many, when times are dark and when you're struggling, gospel music is that ray of hope and it gives you that strength."

Gospel music fans can see the concert air on June 26 on PBS. is your No. 1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.   

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(Photo: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Written by Taj Rani


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