POLITICS

Justin Timberlake tells Al Green stories at the White House

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Nikki Schwab

Sure, President Obama likes to sing a little Al Green, but Justin Timberlake used to stalk him. The former boy bander admitted this fun fact in front of crowd gathered at the White House on Tuesday.

First lady Michelle Obama introduced the pop star. "Everyone, let's breathe, even the moms," she giggled as Timberlake walked onstage in the State Dining Room to chat about Memphis Soul music, alongside musicians Sam Moore, Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper.

FLOTUS then gave the crowd a brief history of the music. "And soon enough, Memphis had a few more record labels and its own brand of soul, thanks to performers like Otis Redding, Sam & Dave (Samuel Moore and Dave Prater), the Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes and, of course, somebody my husband thinks he sounds like -- the Rev. Al Green," FLOTUS said. "Let's just tell him he does, OK? Since he is the president, we like to boost him up a little bit."

Timberlake brought up Green when he talked about growing up. "I found out that there was a reverend that lived about -- I drove it, it's seven to eight minutes from my house -- some might call it stalking, I just called it driving to see where he lived," Timberlake began. "But I found out the Rev. Al Green lived down the street with me."

Years later, the two musicians performed at the Grammys together, but it came together unexpectedly. Several acts canceled hours before "music's biggest night," Timberlake said in a deep booming voice. "We have two hours to go and they pull a list out of people who are going to be presenting and I look and it is serendipity at its finest," Timberlake said. "I look on the list and who do I see? The Rev. Al Green."

Timberlake recruited Keith Urban and Boyz II Men to the performance, but nobody has gotten in touch with Green. "You see this mink coat coming down from the rafters almost like the angels, he comes running onto the stage ... and goes, 'Justin, Justin, it's so good to see you. I'm sorry I'm late. They called me, I was in the tub,' " Timberlake recalled, doing his best Al Green impression. "So not only am I taken aback by his entrance, but now I have visual of a holy bath, full of bubbles, and the Rev. Al Green gets a phone call and he runs into his closet ... like Clark Kent and comes out Superman in his mink coat."

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