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Paul McCartney flirts equally with president, first lady

June 3, 2010 | 11:42 am

Paul-barack-web

Too bad the Beatles never wrote a tune called "Hey Barack" -- it would have come in handy in D.C. last night.

Paul McCartney, this year's winner of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Music, made like a rock star Wednesday and seized the opportunity to flirt directly with the president's wife, crooning an acoustic rendition of "Michelle" to First Lady Michelle Obama as she sat with her husband in the front row of the White House audience. (Check out the video below.)

He then joked about maybe being the first guy ever to be punched out by the president.

McCartney, however, seems to be an even bigger fan of Barack Obama than of the first lady: "Getting this prize would just be good enough," the cute Beatle said upon getting his trophy ...

... cracking a crooked smile and wagging a knowing finger, "but getting it from this president ... ." That just a day after telling a passel of journalists, “I’m a big fan, he’s a great guy. So lay off him, he’s doing great.”

It's also not the first time McCartney has dedicated "Michelle" to the Obamas. Last August he told a D.C. concert audience that he'd added a tune especially for the Washington show -- "one that we think Barack might want to sing to someone in his house." (Click that last link for the video.)

Others on stage Wednesday: Stevie Wonder, the Jonas Brothers, Faith Hill, Emmylou Harris, Lang Lang, Herbie Hancock, Elvis Costello, Jack White, Corinne Bailey Rae, David Grohl and Jerry Seinfeld.

The concert airs June 28 on PBS; see the president's presentation to McCartney in the video embedded below. 

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Paul McCartney receives the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from President Obama during a concert in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on June 2, 2010. The prize is awarded by the Library of Congress. Credit: Andrew Harrer / EPA / Pool.


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