Janelle Monae Is the Real First 'Electric Lady' (Video)
Janelle Monae is getting some partisan support for her new video, “Electric Lady,” the title track to her 2013 album, which debuted today on her website.
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Featuring guest appearances by T.I., Estelle, Esperanza Spalding, T-Boz, Monica, Joi, Kimbra and choreographer Fatina Robinson, the clip echoes the recognition given her recently by first lady Michelle Obama, who pronounced herself the “First Electric Lady.”
The video also includes a special opening cameo by Ms. Monae’s own mother.
The White House has been a big supporter of Monae, with the first lady praising her, exclaiming, “I love that she is one of the young artists here who is making music that means something. She has a message. She has a voice. She has a power in her. And she understands the responsibility she has within her grasp to take these opportunities and just take off with them. She serves as a role model and an inspiration to so many young people. And I am happy to call her my friend. I am so proud of her.”
Monae and Obama previously were together at a special Grammy Museum luncheon earlier in July, during which they pledged their mutual support of arts education.
Added President Barack Obama: “Janelle has performed at the White House, like, 15 times. There’s going to be an official Janelle Monae room in the White House. We love her. Michelle and I love Janelle. We love her energy. We love her talent. But we most of all love her character. And anybody who gets a chance to talk to her, this is just a remarkable, strong, smart young lady.
“And I have to say nice things about her because she may be the only person in possession of a video in which I try to keep up with her and Usher on the dance floor. Now, this is top secret. She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.”
Obama’s three-day West Coast fundraising tour for the Democratic party found him at the L.A. home of Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, where he ran into the R&B star.
Monae called out “I love you!” to the commander in chief, to which he replied with his trademark “I love you back,” before inquiring if Monae was still in possession of that video, and whether she could “testify” to his dancing skills.
“Let me say I did not drop in splits. But I did bust a move. That I did do,” laughed the president.