Will.i.am, T-Pain celebrate with young voters at Our Time gala

Excitement was high at the Generation Now inauguration gala, as stars from the music industry celebrated with young voters.

The event was organized by Our Time, a non-profit organization focused on engaging young people in the political process, and featured recording superstars John Legend, will.i.am, Common and T-Pain.

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Co-founder Matthew Segal, said his group stayed "married" to the entertainment and music hubs on the west coast last year in attempt to excite the young.

"We attack culture first, and then once we have their attention, that's when we have the opportunity to educate them," Segal said, noting the large numbers of young voters who cast their ballots in an election where many of the president’s supporters feared there would be an “enthusiasm gap.”

A post-election study found that young voters made up at least 80 electoral college votes in the 2012 election.

“I'm very pleased,” said Segal. “Our generation is a formidable part of the new political landscape. I don't think a lot of the Washington types recognize that.”

Will.i.am is well known for his song, “Yes We Can,” which supported then-Sen. Barack Obama during the 2008 election, and the Black Eyed Peas front-man was a strong backer during the 2012 reelection bid.

But despite his vocal support for Obama, he says he has no intention to run for office himself.

“I'm just here to soak up inspiration and information,” he said. “and then releasing it out into cities that need that perspective.”

Even though this is President Obama's second time being inaugurated, he isn’t experiencing a sophomore slump, according to the musicians in attendance -- except maybe when it comes to singing.

When asked, rapper T-Pain -- without hesitation -- said he would “auto-tune” the president.

"Oh, definitely,” he said. “All the way -- all the way up. No doubt about it."


Noted lawmakers were also in attendance, including Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), as well as Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.).

Moran, full of smiles, said he was already ready for the weekend’s festivities to be over.

"This is for people your age," he said. "I'm kind of a Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams guy, myself."

Photos courtesy of Our Time.