Watch Paul Simon Perform One of His Classic Solo Songs at White House Dinner Hosted by President Biden

Paul Simon was one of the invited guests at a state dinner held at the White House on Wednesday, April 10. The event was held in honor of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife, Yuko.

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As seen in online footage, Simon played an acoustic version of the title track to his acclaimed 1986 album Graceland. He was accompanied by Mark Stewart, a longtime member of his touring band.

[RELATED: Paul Simon Reveals His Ideal Short Concert Set, Performs New Song on The Late Show]

The gathering was hosted by President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden. Among the many noteworthy attendees were Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Robert De Niro, gold-medal-winning figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

The event celebrated the alliance between the U.S. and Japan.

Why Simon Was Invited to Perform

The Washington Post reported that, according to the White House, Simon was chosen to perform because he is one of the first lady’s favorite artists, and because Prime Minister Kishida also is an admirer of his music.

During a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Simon said he’d be playing a White House event. The 82-year-old singer/songwriter said during the interview that he be playing a five-song set, but those plans apparently changed.

About “Graceland”

“Graceland” was nominated for a Song of the Year Grammy in 1987, while the album of the same name won the Album of the Year at the ceremony. Interesting, “Graceland” won the Record of the Year trophy at the 1988 Grammy ceremony.

About Mark Stewart

Stewart joined Simon’s touring band in 1999 and played every trek by the singer/songwriter through 2012. Stewart is a multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, cello, saxophone, and various self-made instruments. He also contributed to two of Simon’s studio album—You’re the One (2000) and Stranger to Stranger (2016).

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