If the USO took over production of the MTV Music Awards, the result would be something like the Kid’s Inaugural Concert that First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden hosted Saturday in tribute to military families. Several thousand children and their parents—many functioning both as chaperones and stepladders—filled the hall of the Washington Convention Center to capacity to hear the likes of Usher and Katy Perry.
Lt. Col. Kevin Schmiegel (Ret) of Frederickberg, Va., who spent 20 years in the Marines and now runs a program for hiring veterans and their spouses, came with his 12-year-old son Jack and one of Jack’s friends.
“I have two sons who are 18 and 16 who were too cool to come,” Schmeigel said as one of the Washington Nationals mascots, George Washington, sauntered by. Of the star-studded lineup, Jack expressed hope that Usher would perform “OMG” and that Perry would sing “Firework.”
Jack got his wish: Usher performed “OMG” third in his set, after “Yeah” and “Without You.” While he appeared to gloss over the more overtly sexual portions of the lyrics, the closed captioning on the monitors did not. Perry ended with "Firework," set to a slideshow of President Barack Obama shaking hands and talking on the phone.
Usher was followed by the Far East Movement, who somewhat awkwardly incorporated the message of military gratitude into their Black Eyed Peas-flavored hip-hop. A gospel fusion group called Soul Children of Chicago performed as well, but neither Stevie Wonder nor Smokey Robinson, both originally reported to be on the docket, made an appearance.
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