Lyle Lovett and other country music stars visited the White House and performed in the seventh event in a concert series, dubbed “In Performance at the White House.”
Other country performers included Alison Krauss, Dierks Bentley, James Taylor, The Band Perry and Kris Kristofferson.
“As Charley Pride, who played here two years ago, once said: ‘There is enough room in country music for everybody,’” U.S. President Barack Obama said at the event in the East Room at the White House.
Several of the musicians joined first lady Michelle Obama Monday by hosting a country music workshop for young musicians.
The day of events aimed at celebrating the musical style, which is popular across the U.S.
"Country music can be about love," Obama said. "It can be about heartache. It can sing sad times, or it can yell out that I'm just here having a good time. And it can remind us, especially when lots of our friends and neighbors are going through tough times, of what we've got to fight for and who we have to be."
Obama praised the importance of the music in American culture, saying country music is “stories of life in America.”
“Over the past five years, I’ve had the extraordinary opportunity to travel all across America. I’ve hopped on planes to big cities. I’ve ridden buses through small towns. And along the way, I’ve gained an appreciation for just how much country music means to so many Americans,” Obama said.
The concert series was started in 2009 by the first lady and has featured jazz, classical, Motown and Latin music.
The most recent celebrates another uniquely American music: country.
“So as we look forward to celebrating this holiday season, let’s take the time to appreciate the things that matter most in our lives: country, family and community,” Obama said.
Lovett has performed at the White House for both former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, but has always kept the performances non-political.
Monday’s concert was no exception.
“I’ve never campaigned for a candidate,” Lovett said. “But I’m always excited to support the people that run our country.”