The Kennedy Center Awards for the Arts were aired Tuesday night on CBS and among the honorees were filmmaker George Lucas, actress and singer Rita Moreno, actress Cicely Tyson, and conductor Seiji Ozawa. But it was during the honoring of singer/songwriter Carole King that the most memorable moment came.
It was toward the end of the show that The Queen of Soul herself Aretha Franklin took the stage to sing the King penned “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” which was first made popular by Franklin. Lady Soul gave everyone a treat when she sat down at the piano a la Carole King, a rarity for Franklin. While King looked ecstatic it was Obama’s reaction that has everyone talking, as he appeared to wipe away a tear from his eye as Aretha emerged from behind the piano and delivered her characteristically powerful performance.
While Franklin’s voice can bring anyone to tears the moment was probably especially poignant for Obama seeing as his family is full of strong women. It was certainly the highlight of the night that contained many including a performance by James Taylor of King’s “You’ve Got A Friend” during a snippet of the Broadway musical on King’s life “Beautiful the Carole King Musical,” a tribute to Lucas lead by Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, a funny and heartwarming honoring of Cicely Tyson by Tyler Perry, and a gushing tribute to Rita Moreno from “Jane The Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez, as well as a passionate performance of Ozawa’s work by Yo Yo Ma.