In the wake of his remarkable slow-jamming performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, President Barack Obama has revealed the story behind his equally remarkable rendition of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” Astonishing the Apollo Theatre’s New York audience back in January, and eventually appearing as a ringtone on Obama’s official campaign site, his short lyrical outburst was highly impromptu, the President told Rolling Stone.
Obama explained that, frustrated by missing Al Green’s earlier performance at the Apollo, he starting singing in front of a pair of the theatre’s sound technicians:
Since I was on my fifth event and have been yakking away for several hours on all kinds of policy stuff, I just kind of broke into a rendition of ‘Let’s Stay Together.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, so the president, you can sing, man. You should do that onstage.’
Despite the warnings of his senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, Obama felt confident about the performance. “I can sing,” he said. “I wasn’t worried about being able to hit those notes.” He took to the stage, and the rest is, well, history.
Watch President Obama sing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” below. [Rolling Stone]