TIME White House

Here’s Michelle Obama’s State of the Union Guest List

Michelle Obama
Jessica Hill—AP First lady Michelle Obama speaks to supporters during a rally in New Haven, Conn on Oct. 30, 2014.

The White House just released the list, which includes astronaut and TIME cover star Scott Kelly

The White House has released its list of the 22 special guests who will be seated in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The list includes high-profile names such as astronaut and TIME magazine cover star Scott Kelly, who will spend a year in space, and the president and CEO of CVS Health, Larry J. Merlo.

Other guests include Captain Phillip C. Tingirides of the Los Angeles Police Department; Catherine Pugh, Maryland Senate Majority Leader; Kathy Pham, a computer scientist with the United States Digital Service; and Alan Gross, a USAID sub-contractor who was reunited with his family after five years of imprisonment in Cuba the same day the U.S. announced it would begin to normalize diplomatic relations with the country.

TIME 2016 Election

Huckabee Knocks the Obamas for Encouraging Their Daughters to Like Beyoncé

Darren McCollester—Getty Images Mike Huckabee speaks at the Freedom Summit on April 12, 2014 in New Hampshire.

Parenting advice and criticism from a potential 2016 presidential candidate

First, it was Beyoncé and Jay Z up for scolding by conservative Republican Mike Huckabee. Now it’s Barack and Michelle Obama‘s turn.

In an interview about his new book, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, Huckabee tells PEOPLE he doesn’t get how the Obamas can encourage their daughters’ love for Beyoncé. Especially, the former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister says, if the president and first lady ever actually listened to the lyrics to – or seen a performance of Beyoncé’s steamy “Drunk in Love.”

The Obamas “are excellent and exemplary parents in many ways,” Huckabee says.

“That’s the whole point. I don’t understand how on one hand they can be such doting parents and so careful about the intake of everything – how much broccoli they eat and where they go to school and making sure they’re kind of sheltered and shielded from so many things – and yet they don’t see anything that might not be suitable for either a preteen or a teen in some of the lyrical content and choreography of Beyoncé, who has sort of a regular key to the door” of the White House.

Beyoncé, Jay Z and their daughter, Blue Ivy, were at the White House last January for Mrs. Obama’s exclusive 50th birthday bash and the first lady has taken her girls to several Beyoncé concerts.

The singer, criticized in Huckabee’s book for “obnoxious and toxic mental poison in the form of song lyrics” and dance moves “best left for the privacy of her bedroom,” was also featured prominently at the president’s second Inauguration in 2013.

The first lady’s office had no response to Huckabee’s comments.

This article originally appeared on People.com, read the whole story at People.

TIME White House

Here’s Barack and Michelle Obama Bringing In The New Year

A candid moment for the President and First Lady

The First Couple brought in the new year at home in a quiet, relaxed fashion. But the White House’s official Twitter account did provide the public with a glimpse of the celebrations.

The first tweet of the new year shows the president and his first lady sharing a tender moment.

TIME Social Media

Michelle Obama Tweeted the Ultimate Throwback Thursday Christmas Photo

Featuring Michelle, Barack and his awesomely dated sweater vest

Michelle Obama killed two Twitter birds with one stone — a Christmas post and a #tbt post — when she shared an old photo of her, Barack and his awesomely dated sweater vest on Thursday. (If Malia Obama hasn’t already discovered that sweater in a closet and worn it to an ugly sweater Christmas party, it’s only a matter of time.)

The photo shows off the couple’s Christmas tree-decorating skills in the back, though FLOTUS and POTUS have since moved on to much, much bigger trees.

TIME White House

Obama Recalls Trouble Getting a Cab Before He Was President

Presiden Obama at the White House Dec. 12, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images Presiden Obama at the White House Dec. 12, 2014 in Washington, DC.

The First Couple opens up about racism

Before they lived behind the White House gates, Barack and Michelle Obama dealt with the day-to-day racism experienced by black families across America, the First Couple told People in an exclusive new interview.

“I think people forget that we’ve lived in the White House for six years,” Michelle Obama said. “Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs.”

“The small irritations or indignities that we experience are nothing compared to what a previous generation experienced,” President Obama said. “It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala. It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress.”

Read more at People

TIME White House

Obama: ‘No Black Male My Age’ Hasn’t Been Mistaken for a Valet

Presiden Obama at the White House Dec. 12, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images Presiden Obama at the White House Dec. 12, 2014 in Washington, DC.

The President and First Lady opened up in a recent interview about racial prejudices they've experienced

The Obamas opened up about their experiences with racial prejudice in an interview with People magazine.

“There’s no black male my age who’s a professional who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” President Barack Obama said in an excerpt released Wednesday.

He said that it had happened to him, too. First lady Michelle Obama said that another time her husband “was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee.”

The president said that the indignities that the first couple…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME White House

See Michelle Obama’s Best Outfits of 2014

Love it or hate it: Being First Lady of the United States means being one of the leading ladies of fashion.

Whether getting noticed for mostly eschewing the world of fashion, as Hillary Clinton did, or choosing to make a statement with what you wear, as Jackie Kennedy did, the First Lady is going to get attention for what she wears. Michelle Obama has taken well to the role, choosing to mix high and low in her fashion picks, and 2014 was no exception.

TIME royals

LeBron Kind of Broke Royal Protocol With Kate

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William with Lebron James at the Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA Basketball game on Dec. 8, 2014 in New York.
Michael Dunlea—AP Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William with Lebron James at the Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA Basketball game on Dec. 8, 2014 in New York.

Watch that arm!

To an American eye, there was nothing strange about a sweaty LeBron James putting his arm around Kate to pose for a photograph after his Cleveland Cavaliers played the Brooklyn Nets on Monday evening. To the British, though, merely touching the Duchess of Cambridge represents a serious breach in etiquette. Someone get some smelling salts!

While U.S. headlines cooed over the adorable mini-jersey James presented to Prince William and Kate, who were in New York as part of their three-day visit, British tabloids led with the fact that star basketball player inadvertently violated royal protocol. While the website of the Monarchy stipulates that “there are no obligatory codes of behavior” for meeting a member of the royal family, the more understood protocol is, well, don’t touch or speak to a royal unless you’re touched or spoken to first.

First Lady Michelle Obama broke this unofficial rule in 2009 when she put her arm around Queen Elizabeth II. The media went wild, but the Queen was cool with it, though, because Obama’s arms are amazing.

Read next: LeBron James Gave William and Kate a Cavaliers Jersey for Prince George

TIME movies

Get Ready for a Movie About the Obamas’ First Date

President Obama addresses Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Dinner- DC
Olivier Douliery—Pool/Getty Images U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive on stage for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Phoenix Awards dinner, September 27, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Filming is slated to start next year on Southside With You

As President Obama enters the back half of his second term, it’s time to start thinking about a biopic. No, not the kind where he makes major decisions about world events. The kind where he goes on a first date with a pretty lawyer.

Shooting will allegedly begin next year on Southside With You, a film depicting Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson’s first date, Deadline Hollywood reports. The future president famously took Michelle to see Do the Right Thing in Chicago on a summer afternoon in 1989. They also visited a Baskin Robbins and shared their first kiss on the curb outside, where a plaque now celebrates that fateful smooch.

Tika Sumpter, who appeared in the James Brown biopic Get on Up, will play Michelle, while the role of Barack has not yet been cast. The movie has been described as a romantic drama, so expect it to be more Before Sunrise and less My Date With the President’s Daughter.

[Deadline Hollywood]

TIME Television

Concert for Valor: Watch Performances by Rihanna, Eminem, Bruce Springsteen

Carrie Underwood, Dave Grohl and the Zac Brown Band all performed at the concert for veterans

HBO’s Concert for Valor drew hundreds of thousands of fans to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., with millions more tuning in on television screens and radios across the country to hear performances by Rihanna, Eminem, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Dave Grohl, Metallica and many more.

The Concert for Valor was staged to boost awareness of veterans’ support groups, raise funds for veterans charities and salute the troops who do so much for the country. Fans came out in force to support the cause and to see stars like Dave Grohl, the Zac Brown Band, John Oliver, Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg, Will Smith and Tom Hanks, who all seemed to mirror the sentiments summed up by Jamie Foxx,”I came because it’s just the right thing to do.”

Jennifer Hudson performed “The Star Spangled Banner” to open the concert. After a video message from U.S. President Barack Obama, she was joined onstage by Jessie J for a powerful performance of David Guetta’s “Titanium.”

Dave Grohl greeted his hometown crowd, “We’ve got a lot of heroes here tonight, we’re going to sing for them.” He then launched into acoustic versions of some Foo Fighter favorites like “Everlong” and “My Hero,” which turned into a tear-jerking, flag-waving singalong anthem.

Zac Brown band deliver a rousing rendition of “America the Beautiful” and were soon joined on stage by Bruce Springsteen and Dave Grohl for a rollicking rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” which some viewed as a controversial song choice due to its anti-war sentiment.

After the Black Keys whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their tracks “Fever” and “Howlin for You,” Carrie Underwood, pregnant and in heels, performed her song “See You Again.” (Read about the military family that changed how she sings the song here). Then backed by the Singing Sergeants of the US Air Force, she performed “Something in the Water” followed by a crowd-pleasing version of “Before He Cheats.”

Metallica was introduced by Jack Black and took the stage sounding loud and proud for a medley of “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” “Master of Puppets” and “Enter Sandman.” They ended their raucous set by dedicating the songs to the troops, “Finally, we get to play for our heroes!” and leading the crowd in a chant of “USA! USA!”

Bruce Springsteen returned to the stage for a stripped down, acoustic set including a haunting version of “Born in the USA,” and a bare bones “Dancing in the Dark” and dedicating his performance of “The Promised Land” to service members who just returned home.

Bryan Cranston did his best Heisenberg impression, encouraging everyone to hire veterans at their companies, before introducing Rihanna who looked like a sparkly Batgirl in a floor-length caped pantsuit to perform “Diamonds” and “Stay.” She was joined onstage by co-headliner Eminem for their hit “Monster.”


As Rihanna left the stage, Eminem made the most the concert being aired on HBO by encouraging everyone to “give it up for motherf–king Rihanna.” The crowd cheered, while the millions of people listening to the show on iHeartRadio undoubtedly enjoyed the beep. Eminem dedicated his track “Not Afraid” to the troops who came home and those who did not. He then launched into “Lose Yourself” and the crowd roared its approval.


Before the concert, officials predicted that the free concert would be the largest gathering on the National Mall in years, surpassing the Fourth of July and many presidential inaugurations. Proving the point, the Park Police tweeted out a photo of the impressive crowds gathered at the National Mall:

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