- The Washington Times - Monday, June 15, 2015

The White House defended the first family’s decision Monday not to disclose in advance a private White House concert featuring Prince, saying President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wanted to host a private party “in their own home.”

“The president and first lady did host a private event,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “This is an appropriate thing for the president and the first lady to do.”

He defended the secrecy surrounding the event, saying the Obamas had a right to host a private party that “occurred in their own home on a Saturday night.”

The Obamas paid for the event themselves, Mr. Earnest said.

Prince gave a private VIP performance at the White House on Saturday night for President Obama, his family and about 500 guests.

The highly secretive event was to celebrate African-American Music Appreciation Month, the New York Post’s Page Six reported.

Prince brought Stevie Wonder up onstage for a surprise duet at the show, with the pair singing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours,” the paper said.

Among the guests were former Attorney General Eric Holder; Education Secretary Arne Duncan; White House National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his date, singer Ciara; entertainers Jon Bon Jovi, James Taylor, Tyler Perry, Connie Britton and Angela Bassett.

Prince was in Washington to play two shows Sunday at the Warner Theatre.

The White House didn’t reveal anything about the event, which was not on Mr. Obama’s public schedule.

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