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By Alex Johnson
LOS ANGELES — Former first lady Michelle Obama got a hero’s welcome during a surprise appearance at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night.
Obama appeared on stage at the Staples Center to help open the annual awards show along with Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, host Alicia Keys and Jada Pinkett Smith to explain what music has meant to them.
Many in the audience didn’t immediately seem to pick up on Obama’s appearance, but she was quickly interrupted when she began speaking, making it only as far as “From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side …” before the crowd stood and loudly cheered for 25 seconds.
“All right — we got a show to do,” she said as she tried to wave the audience to quiet down.
Here are the former first lady’s full remarks, which started with references to Motown and “Run the World (Girls),” Beyoncé’s 2011 hit:
“From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story, and I know that’s true for everybody here.
“Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters. Every story within every voice, every note within every song. Is that right, ladies?”
Obama later tweeted that she was “thrilled” to help “celebrate the unifying power of music.”