White House Grilled Over Private Party With Prince, Stevie Wonder

2 minute read

Stevie Wonder and Prince had a jam session at the White House over the weekend, but the public and the press weren’t invited.

The event was not included on the President’s public schedule, though a White House spokesman confirmed it after the fact. Most information about the event came from social media posts of guests, many of whom were celebrities.

During a regularly scheduled press briefing Monday, White House reporters grilled spokesman Josh Earnest, who said that the Obamas will personally foot the bill for the party.

“The point is that the President and First Lady—and I think most people across the country would acknowledge, that is an appropriate thing for the president and first lady to do,” Earnest said. “Which is to open their house up to guests for a private party on a Saturday night.”

Earnest repeatedly stressed that the event was not an official function.

“President and First Lady did hold a private party at the White House over the weekend, but given the private nature of that event I don’t have a lot of details to discuss from here,” he said.

The party’s guests, however, weren’t so tight-lipped.

Rev. Al Sharpton tweeted from Washington that it was “awesome to see Prince and Stevie Wonder on the keyboards together,” at the White House party.

Football star Russell Wilson posted an Instagram of himself and his date Ciara after “dancing at the White House” to Prince and Stevie Wonder.

Director Ava DuVernay called it “one of the best house parties I’ve ever been to.”

See Photos of Barack Obama in College

Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Chance Encounter In 1980, when Obama was a freshman at Occidental College in Los Angeles, he was approached by an aspiring photographer named Lisa Jack, who asked him if he would be willing to pose for some black and white photographs that she could use in her portfolio.Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Handsome Of her first meeting (in a campus eatery) with Obama, Jack remembers only that "He was really cute. But what else does a 20-year-old girl remember?"Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Styled In the photos, Jack says, "You can see he is just posing, initially, but as the shoot goes on, he starts to come out. He was very charismatic even then."Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Prop Jack never realized her dream of becoming a photographer and is now a psychologist.Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Pose Jack and Obama would see each other only a few more times while students. But in 2005, while on a tour, she spotted Obama on Capitol Hill and yelled hello. "He knew exactly who I was after all this time," Jack says. "I was amazed."Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Doubt On a dare from a skeptical friend, Jack decided to track down her negatives from the shoot.Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Searcher Initially, before she dug the film out from her basement, Jack never thought her pictures would have much life beyond her own darkroom.Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years
Smile When she found them, the images of Obama "blew me away," she says. "I had no idea I'd taken a whole roll of film."Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years
Charm For a while, Jack put the negatives in a safety-deposit box, so that they could not be used until after the election, when there would be no chance they could be used for a political purpose.
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
Thoughtful Today, Jack says, she hopes the photos reveal a "spirit of fun and thoughtfulness."Lisa Jack
Barack Obama College Years Lisa Jack
The Man Who Would Be President "I'm not political," Jack says, "(But) these are historic photos and they should be shared."Lisa Jack

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