Entertainment & Arts

Paul McCartney plays to Obamas at White House concert

Sir Paul McCartney has performed at the White House after picking up an award from US President Barack Obama.

The former Beatle, 67, played as part of a concert in his honour, having been presented with the third annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Among the songs he performed for the Obama family was the ballad Michelle, with lyrics directed to the First Lady.

Other performers in the East Room gig included the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, Corinne Bailey Rae and Stevie Wonder.

Paul Simon won the inaugural prize, followed by Wonder last year.

The award is given by the Library of Congress.

Generation's soundtrack

Sir Paul - who said he had been "itching" to perform the song Michelle to Mrs Obama - also played a string of hits including Got To Get You Into My Life and Hey Jude.

"I don't think there could be anything more special than to perform here," he said.

Mr Obama praised the British singer-songwriter for his contribution to American culture, saying the Beatles had "helped to lay the soundtrack for an entire generation".

Other performers at the concert, which will be broadcast on US TV on 28 July, included country singers Emmylou Harris and Faith Hill, and British singer-songwriter Elvis Costello.

The Jonas Brothers, White Stripes singer Jack White and comedian Jerry Seinfeld also performed.

When it was announced in November that Sir Paul would be honoured, Librarian of Congress James Billington said it was hard "to find a performer who has had more of an indelible and transformative effect on popular song".

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