Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson & Meghan Trainor Rock 'Today Show' Stage For International Day Of the Girl
It was an inspiring morning on the Today Show on Thursday (Oct. 11) when former First Lady Michelle Obama joined a lineup of superstar performers for a special concert in honor of International Day of the Girl. The United Nations event launched in 2011 with the goal of helping to create global enthusiasm for bettering the lives of girls, and it has since become a day of activism fighting for gender justice and youth rights.
Obama spoke to those goals with Today co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, remarking that in today's climate, "fear is not a proper motivator," and encouraging parents to raise children who are full of hope rather than fear, anger and vengeance. "As someone who is a role model to girls, we want them to grow up with promise and hope and we can't model something different if we want them to be better than that," she said.
Highlighting the 98 million girls around the world who don't have access to proper education, Obama used her Today Show appearance to announce the launch of the Global Girls Alliance, which will support 1,500 girls education groups around the world. “When you educate a girl, you educate a family, a community, a country,” she said. "If we care about climate change, if we care about poverty, then we have to care about education." The Alliance will provide funding for on-the-ground organizations as well as training, technical support and networking opportunities to people working to support educational opportunities.
Joining the Today crew and Obama were Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Meghan Trainor and Zendaya. When asked what future she sees for her daughter, River Rose -- who spent the morning wowing the crowd with her dance moves -- Clarkson said, "She kind of came into the world super bold and confident, so I'm just kind of at this point trying to tame it. She has no confidence issues. I support who she is." Hudson added, "it's a blessing to be able to come from powerful women. All I want to be able to do is continue to set an amazing example for the youth to come."
Trainor was more than happy to accept the responsibility of backing up the empowering messages in her songs, saying, "I'm just being myself and if it helps all the girls out there, I love you so much, I love the fans and I love writing songs for everyone to inspire them."
The morning ended with Trainor rocking the stage backed by a full band and four back-up singers for an inspired run through "No Excuses," followed by Hudson performing the TV debut of the inspiring R&B ballad "I'll Fight" from the RBG documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Clarkson topped the mini-concert off with "Whole Lotta Woman," rocking the soggy New York crowd with the sassy soul jam featuring the take no mess lyrics, " I'm a whole lotta woman/(From the way I walk and toss my hips)/I said I'm a whole lotta woman/(From the sound to my voice to the gloss on my lips)/I'm a whole lotta woman/(Anything I see I want, I get)/I'm a strong, badass chick with class and confidence."
Watch some of the highlights from Today's celebration below.