Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper to Perform at White House Tree Lighting
Now that the summer heat has mostly tapered off, the focus has shifted to the forthcoming holiday season. With it comes the White House’s annual National Christmas Tree Lighting, where Chance the Rapper, Kelly Clarkson and gospel singer Yolanda Adams are set to perform, according to Pitchfork.
All three artists have previously appeared at White House events during Obama’s presidency. Clarkson attended Obama’s second inauguration in 2013 to perform “My Country ’Tis of Thee,” and Adams was part of a White House event meant to honor Ray Charles.
While the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will mark Chance’s first time performing at the White House, he has a personal connection with President Obama, stemming from his father’s work under the current President as an Illinois state senator.
Chance was also invited to meet President Obama earlier this year, along with several other rap and hip hop artists, to discuss the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which is "a coordinated Federal effort to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.”
Chance spoke about his visit with Obama in a recent interview with GQ, saying the president pulled him aside toward the end of the event to discuss his music.
"There was a big meeting [in April] about My Brother's Keeper and criminal-justice reform, and a whole bunch of artists and celebrities were there. And at the end, everybody takes a group photo, and he's signing stuff. And he keeps pushing me to the back, and I'm like, ‘I don't understand why he won't sign my sh---,’" he said.
"And he makes me wait till the end, and then he brings me up to his office, and we had a really good conversation about what I was working on," Chance continued. "He told me I needed to start selling my music. He's a good man. Even if he wasn't president, if his ass worked at, like, Red Lobster, he'd be just a good man working at Red Lobster.”
The ceremony will take place on December 1st and will air on the Hallmark Channel on Friday, December 2nd, according to the official National Christmas Tree website. A lottery for free tickets to the event will open on October 7.
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