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Civil rights era music fills White House

Feb. 9, 2010 at 9:51 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The weatherman said the wind was blowing in a blizzard so a star-studded concert at the U.S. White House celebrating civil rights era music was moved up a day.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama had expected to hold the latest in the 2010 White House Music Series, "In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement," Wednesday in the East Room but the impending bad weather prompted the change to Tuesday night.

The lineup included The Freedom Singers, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Yolanda Adams, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, Jennifer Hudson, John Mellencamp, John Legend, Seal, the Howard University Choir and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Queen Latifah were the scheduled guest speakers.

Before they performed, the president told the audience attending the Black History Month event the civil rights movement and musicians of the time fed off each other, USA Today reported.

"It was music that was not only inspired by the movement, but gave strength in return," Obama said. "Let this music carry us forth, as one people. As one nation."

The concert will be televised at 8 p.m. EST Thursday on public broadcasting stations nationwide.

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