During his speech, the President mentioned one of the awards nominees, singer Gladys Knight, and recalled a concert she gave in Delaware. However said concert was allegedly in 1919.
According to Biden, the concert stage she performed on during the 100th anniversary of the Delaware State Fair in 1919 was exceptional, due to his ‘point of personal privilege’ witnessing her playing on the most prestigious of stages. Given that neither Biden nor Knight had even been born when 1919 rolled around, it is quite likely that the President was referring to a concert given by Gladys Knight in the state of Delaware in the year 2019.
Biden then, in a strange shift of gear, said that “Down at the fair, they speak like y’all down in Atlanta?” Biden continued, adding a southern drawl. In addition, Biden incorrectly referred to Knight as the “Express of Soul” instead of the “Empress of Soul.”
To the audience’s cheers, he told Knight that if he could choose between living in her world or being without her in ours, he’d be adamant that he could speak for the entire United States of America when he’d declare that we’d choose to live in your world.
Biden continued, “I told her I think I had probably every single one of her songs on my phone. “Because I remember them. She was only 12 when she was making them.”
Biden also had trouble praising Tania Leon, a singer with Cuban ancestry, by calling her “Tiana” in his speech.
Other awardees included actor George Clooney, whom Biden facetiously referred to as “Amal Clooney’s husband” and attempted to flatter by remarking that she “looks more like his sister” to Clooney’s mother.
Additionally, the President lavished praise on Bono and the other members of U2, drawing parallels between them and some of the President’s most admired Irish writers.
We must remember that, as their song says, “We’re one, but we’re not the same,” at a time when there is too much hate, rage, and division in America and, quite honestly, over the world. He answered, “We get to carry each other.