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World/National News

January 20, 2013

Obama girls rock out with military kids at concert

WASHINGTON (AP) — Usher sang “Yeah!” Katy Perry donned star and stripes for “Firework.” And a ballroom full of lucky kids got to rock out with Sasha and Malia Obama at Saturday’s Kids’ Inaugural Concert, a star-studded event that honors America’s military families.

“Now, inauguration is a pretty big deal,” first lady Michelle Obama, who hosted the event along with Jill Biden, told the assembled families at the Washington Convention Center. “But I have to tell you that my very favorite part of this entire weekend is being right here with all of you.” She paid tribute to the sacrifices that military families make, including their kids.

Pointing out that such kids often attend six to nine schools by the end of high school, always having to be “the new kid,” she said being a military kid meant “growing up just a little faster, and working just a little harder than other kids.” The concert was streamed live to several military bases around the country.

This was the second such concert for the Obama girls, and the choice of talent seemed to reflect the fact that they are four years older. While in 2009 they were entertained by Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, this time it was Usher and Perry, along with the groups Mindless Behavior and Far East Movement. Also performing were cast members from the Fox TV hit “Glee.”

Usher, in black leather, kicked off the proceedings with his hit “Yeah!,” followed by “Without You” and “OMG,” earning a huge cheer from the crowd. In between acts, there were kid-friendly diversions like a dance-off, or a race among mascots of the Washington Nationals: oversized versions of presidents like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

Three members of the “Glee” cast were greeted warmly by the crowd: Naya Rivera, who plays Santana; Darren Criss, who plays Blaine; and Amber Riley, who plays Mercedes.

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