The guys with earpieces and the magnetometers were a dead giveaway that the “special guest” at Wednesday night’s Grammys on the Hill was pretty special, and amateur Nancy Drews in the crowd had first lady Michelle Obama pegged as the presenter of the evening’s big award to Alicia Keys.
So little shock when FLOTUS — in a black sleeveless sheath — appeared onstage at the Hamilton for the annual event, which honors musicians and lawmakers for their work on musicians’ issues.
But the unexpected factor was the gushing tribute Obama paid the “Girl on Fire” singer. This was no dry, perfunctory podium stuff: Michelle Obama made it clear to the audience of musicians and members of Congress that she reaaaalllly likes Alicia Keys, who has worked with her on education initiatives. As in three-plus-minutes-worth-of-gush likes Alicia Keyes.
One sample? After praising Keys’ charitable work, Obama called her a “force multiplier.” “When Alicia asks you to pitch in, it’s kind of hard to say no — she has this wrap-you-in-her-arms kind of warmth, this we-can-change the world kind of optimism, this overflowing Stevie Wonder kind of love,” Obama said. “There is no ego,no sense of entitlement; this woman couldn’t be a diva if she tried.”
To sum up, Obama introduced “my friend, my girl… Alicia Keys!”
After that kind of praise, Keyes took the award (and a hug) but returned the love, calling Obama “the realest woman in the world.”
But Obama wasn’t her only fan: