"I think it’s fair to say that had I not been a Stevie Wonder fan, Michelle might not have dated me. We might not have married. The fact that we agreed on Stevie was part of the essence of our courtship," President Obama said last night at a White House ceremony presenting the singer with the 2nd annual Gershwin Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Library of Congress.
The First Lady echoed her husband's sentiments.
"Tonight it is a huge thrill for me as we honor a man whose music and lyrics I fell in love with when I was a little girl," she said. "Years later, I discovered what Stevie meant when he sang about love. Barack and I chose the song, ‘You and I’ as our wedding song."
An all-star lineup of singers performed some of Wonder's biggest hits, including Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Will.i.am, and Paul Simon (who won the first Gershwin Award last year).
"I accept this in memory of my mother. I know that Lula Mae is smiling right now," Wonder said. "And Mr. President, I know that if she were here, she'd say, let me get him a peach cobbler. And she would say ‘peach cobblah.’ But what's really exciting for me today is that we truly have lived to see a time and a space where America has a chance to again live up to the greatness that it deserves to be seen and known as, through the love and the caring and the commitment of a President, as in our President, Barack Obama."
Last night’s event, the first in the "In Performance at the White House" series since President Obama's inauguration, airs tonight on PBS stations
around the country.