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Obama: ‘Nobody can sing like Al Green’

AWARD: Al Green is greeted by Barack Obama, while Hollywood star Tom Hanks looks on (PA)

AMERICAN PRESIDENT Barack Obama could not hide his admiration for music great Al Green when presenting him with a Kennedy Center honour.

Green was recognised for his contribution to music and the performing arts along with actors Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, ballet dancer Patricia McBride and English musician Sting at the annual ceremony that took place last night (Dec 7) in the White House.

The 68-year-old soul singer was lauded by fellow artists and dignitaries at the black-tie event, and Obama appeared to be his biggest fan in the room.

Despite declining to sing something of Green’s after a little peer pressure from those assembled, the world’s most powerful politician said: “I can sing a little, but I cannot sing like Al Green.

“Nobody can sing like Al Green.”

The White House incumbent mentioned Green’s music as a force for unity and added: “[Green] says he can hardly go anywhere without a fan coming up to him, pulling out a picture of one of their kids, and telling him which of his songs helped that child enter the world.”

If Obama seemed star-struck, actress Whoopi Goldberg gave an address that gushed only praise for Green, who recorded a number of hits in the 1970s, including the famous Let’s Stay Together.

The Sister Act star said: “Al Green can caress a lyric like no one else.

“There is no mistaking his sound. You know exactly who it is when you hear it.”

Obama presented the five artists with the prestigious John F Kennedy Center rainbow ribbons, a tradition that began in 1978 to honour greats of the stage and screen.

The ceremony also featured a host of music stars perform live, including Jennifer Hudson and Usher, who sang a collection of Green’s back catalogue.

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