Justin Timberlake Visits White House, Earns Praise From Michelle Obama

Alex Wong/Getty Images
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama speaks as musicians (L-R) Justin Timberlake, Charlie Musselwhite, and Ben Harper listen during an interactive student workshop.

Obamas host Timberlake, Ben Harper and others for a special Memphis Soul concert

Justin Timberlake made his presence known at the White House on Tuesday, where he's spending the day celebrating Memphis soul music with the First Family.

The Memphis native will perform at a concert this evening with Mavis Staples, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, but first he attended the Memphis Soul Workshop in the State Dining Room where First Lady Michelle Obama had to calm attendees down, what with JT in the house.

"Oh, watching you all's faces -- priceless," she said, according to a White House transcript. "Priceless. See, you never know what's going to happen at the White House. Okay, let's breathe. Come on. Everyone, let's breathe, even the moms."

Obama spoke at length of the importance of the music of Memphis and gave Timberlake a shout-out for his recently tested work ethic.

[When] Justin first started touring, he would immediately go to the bus to watch a tape of his performance, taking notes so that the next night he would be even better.

According to Politico, Timberlake spoke to the attendees about "feeling linked" to the Memphis sound.

The "Suit & Tie" singer, who was dressed casually, will join Musselwhite, Harper, Staples, Sam Moore and Alabama Shakes at tonight's soul-centric 10th installment in the "In Performance at the White House" series. Stax icon Booker T. Jones is the musical director.

You can watch live tonight at 7 p.m. EST on WhiteHouse.gov -- and PBS will air the event on April 16.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.