Tonight's event, which is billed as a "celebration of Memphis Soul music," will feature performances by Alabama Shakes, William Bell, Steve Cropper, Al Green, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper, Joshua Ledet, Sam Moore, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples and Justin Timberlake, as well as Booker T. Jones as music director and band leader.
Joined by Timberlake, Harper, Staples, Moore and Musselwhite, Obama said, “The White House is buzzing with excitement today.”
"I want to emphasize, and I think these people up here will back me up, that the only way for you to become the best musician you can be is pushing through those moments when something doesn’t seem fun — by spending hours in the practice room, repeating those scales, and drilling into that theory," she said to the students. "And if you do all that, you do it over and over again, you might become a better performer than you ever imagined."
The White House began the "In Performance" series in 2009 and has hosted tributes to musical genres including Motown, the blues, Broadway and country music. Musicians Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David have all been honored during past events.
The entire performance will be broadcast on Tuesday, April 16 at 8:00 p.m. on PBS stations.