Forget your Firework Snapchat or color-coordinated Instagram pics because Malia Obama’s 18th birthday/Independence Day celebration was truly the fourth of July done right. President Obama hosted his final cookout – and, presumably unlike most others happening in the country at the same time, Janelle Monáe and Kendrick Lamar performed. What better way to spend some of your last months in office?
Every year the South Lawn becomes a spectacle for the families of military veterans, equipped with Independence day essentials like music, food, drinks, and of course fireworks. This year the Obamas hosted the annual event indoors, due to the rainy weather.The event was simultaneously a celebration for Malia Obama’s 18th birthday.
Following powerful performances by Lamar and Monáe, President Obama thanked the artists for more than just their artistry:
I have to tell you, these two, I’ve gotten a chance to know, and they are both amazing artists and talented and popular and doing great things. But they are also very conscious about their responsibilities and obligations. And they put in a lot of time and effort on behalf of a lot of causes that are important. We’re really proud of them for that.
Finally in front of all 5,000 attendees, Obama segued into his dad duties, calling out his daughter to join him on stage to sing “Happy Birthday.”
Watch their full performance, and Obama “embarrassingly” but endearingly singing to his daughter, with Lamar and Monáe as backup.