Tween shrieks and children perched on their parents' shoulders filled the Washington Convention Center Saturday night for acts such as Usher and Katy Perry, as Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden hosted the Kids’ Inaugural.
Obama, flanked by daughters Sasha, 11, and Malia, 14, waved to the crowd before taking her seat at the first official evening event of inauguration weekend.
Colorful and sparkly outfits adorned many of the children in the audience. One little girl was dressed Katy Perry-style in a multi-colored dress decked out with fake lollipops.
Chart-topping singer Usher kicked off the festivities with an energetic performance of his 2004 hit, “Yeah.”
He said to the largely 18-and-under spectators, “The youth matters. Couldn’t do it without you,” before launching into the song “Without You.”
Other entertainment included kid-friendly acts such as Mindless Behavior, cast members from the Fox show “Glee,” and Far East Movement.
Entertainer Nick Cannon speaks to the crowd. Source: Presidential Inaugural Committee
Actress Lynn Whitfield, who campaigned for President Obama, could be seen dancing and singing along to a rousing, gospel-inspired rendition of the Beatles classic, “Come Together,” by the Soul Children of Chicago and Black Violin.
A series of high-profile stars such as members of The Wanted, Ryan Seacrest, Kerry Washington, Ellen DeGeneres, the casts of several Nickelodeon and Disney Channel shows, Jimmy Fallon, and David Letterman also appeared via video messages throughout the show. Late-night host Fallon said during his message, “Hi, I’m Harry Styles from One Direction,” to cries from the boy band-crazed crowd.
While addressing the group, Obama said, “My very favorite part of this entire weekend is being right here with all of you.” Obama introduced the closing act of the night, Katy Perry, by calling her, “fabulous.”
The “I Kissed a Girl” singer, who appeared at several Obama fundraisers throughout the 2012 campaign, sported a skintight red, white, and blue ensemble. The patriotic getup included a red bow tied around her neck. As she closed out the concert with her hit, “Firework,” photos of the president interacting with children flashed across the screens in the convention center.