The “Stone Cold” singer was invited to perform at the latest installment of In Performance at the White House, a PBS series celebrating classic American artists. Upon taking the stage Wednesday night, Demi gave a short introduction mentioning Charles’ love of country music.
“His friend Willie Nelson said that Ray Charles did more for country music than any other living human being, and I second that emotion,” she said, before launching into Charles’ hit “You Don’t Know Me.” Unsurprisingly, Demi nailed the heartache and emotion of the song, giving it a sultry and spot-on tribute.
Even the Obamas were way into it.
Later in the evening, Demi joined The Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Andra Day, and Yolanda Adams for a soulful rendition of “Heaven Help Us All.”
And for the grand finale, all of the evening’s performers — including Usher, Leon Bridges, The Band Perry, and Empire star Jussie Smollett — convened onstage for Charles’ “What’d I Say.” Even President Obama himself couldn’t resist grabbing the mic for a minute… maybe he has a future as a jazz singer once his term is over?