Jidenna was also present for the president's final Fourth of July party

By Karen Mizoguchi
July 04, 2016 10:00 PM

Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monée had the honor of performing at President Obama‘s last Fourth of July party at the White House.

But as the holiday also marks the birthday of Obama’s elder child, it was Malia who became the star of the show when her father began serenading her onstage.

“And just because it’s a job of a father to embarrass his daughters, I’ve got one last job,” President Obama said at the end of his speech. “It just so happens that we celebrate our country’s birthday on the same day that we celebrate my oldest daughter’s birthday,” Obama said before leading the audience to sing “Happy Birthday” to Malia, who later joined her father on stage to give him a celebratory hug.

Earlier in the evening, Lamar, 29, and Monée, 30, were joined by celebrity guest Jidenna in the White House East Room as well as military veterans and their families for a barbecue and viewing of the fireworks. The star-studded concert was originally supposed to be held on the South Lawn but due to inclement weather the celebration was moved indoors.

The rapper kicked off the festivities by performing hits such as “Swimming Pools, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” and “Alright.” Monée also sang her popular singles and she capped off her set list with Prince‘s “Let’s Go Crazy.”

“I want to acknowledge a musical mentor, he always tried to change the world, we love you Prince,” she said before ending her performance.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

As for why Obama selected Lamar and Monée as headliners for his final patriotic party, he said, they are “amazing artists” who also understand their responsibilities and obligations as citizens. “I have to tell you that these two I’ve gotten a chance to know, and they are both amazing artists and talented and popular and doing great things, but they’re also very conscious about their responsibilities and obligations. And they put in a lot of time and effort on behalf of a lot of causes that are important. We’re really proud of them for that,” Obama said when he made his final address.

“We all know that our freedoms are dependent on an incredible group of men and women in uniform and their families who look out for us every single day,” the president said. “Some of them are in attendance here today, for those in our military who could not attend, we just want to say how much we admire, respect and appreciate everything you do to fight for our freedom every single day.”

In addition, POTUS stressed the importance of Fourth of July. “We enjoy the hotdogs, we enjoy the burgers, we enjoy the barbecue, we enjoy the day off for a lot of us, we enjoy the fireworks. But it’s important to remember what a miracle this country is,” Obama said. “How incredible – how incredibly lucky we are that people, generations ago, were willing to take up arms and fight for our freedom. And then people, inside this country, understanding that there were imperfections in our union and were willing to keep on fighting on behalf of extending that freedom to all people and not just some.”

“And that story of independence is not something that happens and then we just put away. It’s something that we have to fight for every single day. It’s something that we have to nurture, and we have to spread the word, and we have to work on. And it involves us respecting each other,” the president continued. “And it involves us recognizing that there are still people in this country who are going hungry – and they’re not free because of that. There are still people in this country who can’t find work – and freedom without the ability to contribute to society and put a roof over your head or look after your family, that’s not yet what we aim for.”

Adding, “And so on a day like this, we celebrate, we have fun, we marvel at everything that’s been done before, but we also have to recommit ourselves to making sure that everybody in this country is free; that everybody has opportunity; that everybody gets a fair shot; that we look after all of our veterans when they come home; that we look after our military families and give them a fair shake; that every child has a good education. That is what we should be striving for on Independence Day.”

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