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Michelle Obama and first daughters make a splash at star-studded concert for military families during inauguration weekend
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PUBLISHED: 20:07 EST, 19 January 2013 | UPDATED: 05:35 EST, 20 January 2013
Michelle Obama proudly paraded her edgy new haircut as she took the stage with her two stylish daughters in tow at the star-studded gala for military families Saturday night, marking the beginning of inauguration weekend festivities.
Some of Hollywood's biggest recording
artists, from Usher to Katy Perry, Alicia Keys and Fun., gathered at the
Washington Convention Center in DC entertain hundreds of DC-area children and spouses
of service members.
Dressed in a casual yet chic ensemble
consisting of a while loose blouse cinched at the waist with a vibrant
belt paired with ankle-length trousers, Mrs Obama appeared on stage
accompanied by her beaming teenaged daughters. President Obama was not
in attendance at the gala.
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Honored guests: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (center) takes the stage with daughters Sasha (left) and Malia at the Kids Inaugural concert for children and military families
In style: The first lady showed off her new bangs as she and her daughters appeared on stage attired in casual yet chic ensembles
Happy occasion: Dr. Jill Biden (center), wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, waves onstage with Biden family members at the Kids Inaugural concert
'Inauguration is a really big deal. There's balls. Everybody dress up and dances,' the first lady told the children. 'Let me tell you: I love every single minute of it. Every single minute. But I have to tell you that my very favorite part of this entire weekend is being right here with all of you.'
Usher performed his hit song OMG after Yeah and Without You, while Katy Perry put on a patriotic show with Firework set to a slideshow of President Obama shaking hands and talking on the phone.
Far East Movement and a gospel fusion group called Soul Children of Chicago performed as well, but neither Stevie Wonder nor Smokey Robinson, who were both originally reported to be in the lineup, made an appearance.
Sing out loud: Soul Children of Chicago choir perform during the Kids Inaugural concert for children and military families
Men in black: Mindless Behavior perform in front of the first family and hundreds of DC-area kids
Star-spangled: Songstress Katy Perry entertained the audience dressed in a skimpy red, white and blue ensemble
VIDEO Katy's American-themed performance wowed the crowds
Patriotic: Katy Perry performs as a picture of U.S. President Obama is shown in the background
Dueling violins: Black Violin perform at the Kids Inaugural concert for children and military families, one of the events ahead of the inauguration
The night's entertainment also included Mindless Behavior and members of the cast of the Fox series Glee.
The concert continues a tradition started at the 2009 inauguration by honoring the nation's military families. It's being hosted by Mrs. Obama and the vice president's wife, Jill Biden, and emceed by Nick Cannon.
But the Kids' Inaugural Concert was not the only glamorous event in town Saturday night.
To continue the weekend's festivities, the Texas State Society hosted the Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball at the Gaylord National Resort in DC.
Musical treat: First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha, center, and Malia react as Usher performs during the Kids' Inaugural: Our Children. Our Future' event
Glamorous event: The star-studded gala was held at the Washington Convention Center in DC
Ladies speak: Michelle Obama, left, and Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, addressed the military families in the audience during the Kids' Inaugural Cocncert
The western-themed gala
featured performances from several country acts, including legendary
signer Charley Pride, Rodney Foster, Jack Ingram, with a special
appearance by actor Jamie Foxx.
This year's ball continues a tradition that has been in place for more than 30 years.
'It has become known as the biggest inaugural ball, and stands apart from the rest due to its size,' according to Veronica Custer, communications director for the event. 'In 2009, over 11,000 tickets were sold,' according to Pegasus News.
The glamorous variety show featuring
musical performances, a presidential puppet show and speeches from
dignitaries came just hours after the first family took part in the
National Day of Service.
Brave boy: Jaelen Franco (center), son of a Navy corpsman speaks as Jill Biden (left) and J.R. Martinez (right) look on
Embrace: Franco got a big hug from the first lady on stage during the gala
On the brink of a second term, the president invoked Martin Luther King Jr.'s commitment to service Saturday.
'I think we're on the cusp of some really great things,' Vice President Joe Biden predicted for a country still recovering from a deep recession.
The president made only a glancing reference to race as he spoke at an elementary school not far from the White House after he and first lady Michelle Obama stained a bookcase as part of a national service event organized by the inaugural committee.
'We think about not so much the inauguration, but we think about this is Dr. King's birthday we're going to be celebrating this weekend,' the president said.
Superstar: Usher performs during the Kids' Inaugural: Our Children. Our Future." event in Washington
Kev Nish of Far East Movement performed at the Kids' Inaugural concert, left, while actor and former U.S. Army Infantryman J.R. Martinez delivered a speech, right
Presidential puppets entertained concert-goers during the kid's inauguration gala
National Day of Service and the night's star-studded event set the
stage for a weekend of festivities to mark the beginning of Mr Obama's
second term in office.
Freshly built inaugural stands at the Capitol gleamed white in the sun, and hundreds of chairs for special guests were set out on the lawn that spills down toward the National Mall as the president and vice president began their inauguration weekend.
Officials estimated that as many as 800,000 people will attend Monday's public ceremonies. That's more than live in the city, if far fewer than the 1.8 million who were at Obama's first inauguration in 2009.
Because the date for inauguration set in the Constitution, January 20, falls on a Sunday this year, Obama and Biden were to be sworn in for second terms in separate, private ceremonies on Sunday.
Wild, wild west: Actor Jamie Fox shows his cowboy boots during the Black Tie & Boots ball as part of the Inaugural festivities Saturday
Music legend: Singer Charley Pride sings during the Black Tie & Boots ball
Hoedown: The Lake Highland Rangers from Dallas dance perform at the event organized by the Texas State Society
The public ceremonies are set for Monday, when Obama will take the oath of office at noon, then deliver an inaugural address before a large crowd and a national television audience in the millions.
American Idol alum Kelly Clarkson will perform My Country Tis of Thee, James Taylor will sing America the Beautiful and long-time Obama supporter Beyonce will entertain the crowd with her rendition of the national anthem.
The traditional lunch with lawmakers in the Capitol follows, and the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House.
There, a reviewing stand was adorned with the presidential seal and equipped with seats enough for Obama and other dignitaries to watch in relative comfort as military units, marching bands, floats and thousands of participants go past. A pair of inauguration balls will cap the day, including one with a guest list that runs to 40,000 names.
A select few - those who donated as much as $1million to defray inauguration expenses - received special access to public as well as invitation-only receptions and parties.
Volunteer-in-chief: As part of the National Day of Service, the first couple spent about an hour staining a bookshelf prior to addressing volunteers
Star power: Actress Eva Longoria, a co-chair of the presidential inauguration committee, spoke at the National Day of Service event earlier in the day
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton headlined a National Day of Service gathering under a tent on the National Mall, where she said she had been inspired by her grandmother, as well as her famous parents. She urged her audience to become part of a 'chain of service' by helping the less fortunate.
Biden and his wife, Jill, spent time at an armory pitching in as volunteers packed 100,000 care kits for deployed members of the military, wounded warriors, veterans and first responders.
Biden credited former President George H. W. Bush, a Republican, for starting the 'Points of Light' program, which was a sponsor of the event. He said service was an antidote to 'the coarsening of our culture. We've got to get back to reaching out to people.
Sitting arrangement: A worker sprays down viewing chairs on the grounds of the US Capitol ahead of the inauguration
Getting ready: The U.S. capital is preparing for the second inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama, which will take place on January 21