Grammy Awards 2019: Former First Lady Michelle Obama Receives Lengthy Ovation During Opening

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards got off to a rocking start with Camila Cabello's "Havana" and a surprising appearance from former First Lady Michelle Obama that earned a standing ovation.

After a brief introduction from host Alicia Keys, Obama came out with Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Jada Pinkett-Smith to talk about the importance of music in their lives.

"From the Motown records I wore out on the Southside to the 'Who Run the World' songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story," Obama said. "Music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes, our joys. Music shows us that all of it matters."

"They said I was weird, but music led me to all of you and to my little monsters, who I love so much," Gaga said when she took the microphone.

"Back in the Bronx, music gave me a reason to dance," Lopez added.

"Every voice we hear deserves to be honored and respected," Pinkett-Smith said.

"Who run the world?" Keys said before the audience gave another round of applause to kick off the show.

Obama is still on her tour to promote her best-selling book Becoming, which was published by Crown last year. The next stops on her tour include Phoenix, Austin, Houston, St. Paul, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Portland, Oregon. The last date on the tour is a stop at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium on May 12.

Last week, Obama was forced to reschedule a Feb. 8 appearance at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington due to weather. The show was rescheduled for March 24.

"Acting out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of guests, Mrs. Obama's show is being rescheduled due to predicted winter snow conditions for the Puget Sound," the venue said in a statement. "Tickets for the previously scheduled event will be honored for the new date. No exchange necessary."

Obama celebrated her 55th birthday on Jan. 17. She and President Barack Obama married in 1992 and are parents to daughters Malia, 20, and Sasha, 17. President Obama marked her birthday on Instagram by sharing a throwback photo.


"I knew it way back then and I'm absolutely convinced of it today — you're one of a kind, [Michelle Obama]," he wrote. "Happy Birthday!"

Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images