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Michelle Obama

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Just give Michelle Obama some of that old-time religious music.

The first lady endorsed gospel music — big time — at the White House Tuesday, calling it a link to God and a “ray of hope.”

Obama spoke at a History of Gospel Music interactive workshop for students from around the country, her customary educational component for the “In Performance at the White House” concert series she has co-hosted since the Obama administration took office.

Tuesday night’s concert will feature a bevy of gospel stars and musicians, including Aretha Franklin, Darlene Love, Lyle Lovett and Rodney Crowell.

The student workshop was designed to explore how gospel music has influenced American pop music and culture.

Gospel music, Obama said in her remarks, is “what helps connect us to God, to that higher power,” according to The Associated Press. “For so many, when times have darkened, when there’s struggle, gospel music is that ray of hope and it gives you that strength.”

Gospel was the first music she was exposed to, she said, and it made her want to start piano lessons at age 4. “I didn’t keep it up,” she said.

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