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January 21, 2009 12:24 PM

BET Inaugural Ball

Posted by seattletimes.com staff

Submitted by Teresa Scribner

After the horrendous start to the day trekking down to the National Mall in the freezing cold after only having 30 minutes of sleep, I was so not in the partying mood tonight. But regret would not be sufficient enough word to describe how I would've felt if I had missed this party.

The BET Inaugural Ball was celebrity packed and over the top crazy fun! When we arrived, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his wife, Alma, were making a speech on behalf of America's Promise. It's a charity designed to help young kids succeed. Colin Powell made a comment about turning the reins over to his wife when he was appointed to office, and now she wouldn't give them back. But when it was her turn to speak, she zinged him right back and said it was because she did a better job at it. I don't know why I was surprised to see Colin Powell at a hip-hop party, but it turned into a sight to behold. More on that later.

teresa_Colin and Alma Powell

The highlight of the night was a performance by Wyclef that basically turned into an hour-long concert. It was FREAKING AMAZING!!! He sang some of hits plus some from The Fugees. But it was his rendition of "No Woman, No Cry" that led Colin Powell to the front of the dance floor. Before I knew it, his hands were in the air and he was waving them like he just didn't care!!! He even sang along on the chorus!! (He won't be winning "American Idol" anytime soon.)The one thing that surprised me the most was how he moved amongst the crowd like he was one of us commoners. No entourage. No throng of media. Just one body guard who followed him around all evening.

teresa_wyclef

Wyclef is not only an awesome artist, but he puts on a great show. After getting the crowd hype with a list of his hits, he hit the mike freestyle and no one was safe. Not even Colin Powell. The crowd went crazy when he told Powell to "get ready." He proceeded to freestyle about the wars, the Bush administration and a long list of other atrocities. He also freestyled about his feelings on the election, giving a funny nod to rapper Jay-Z because he couldn't afford the "Jay-Z seats" at the inauguration. They were both phenomenal sets.

Here's the video:

Wyclef also went to town on his guitar solo where he plucked the strings over his shoulder, on his back and finished the song with his tongue. Did I mention he was amazing?

teresa_Wyclef Guitar

After Wyclef wrapped up, a DJ finished off the night with a number of party-starting tunes. The whole place was on it's feet. There was plenty of love in the air and as a black woman, it was great to look around and see the pride on everyone's faces anytime the name "Obama" was yelled. Awesome, awesome party.

Celebrity Sightings:
Another embarrassing slip-up. I see this man walking towards me and I know I recognize him from somewhere. There was a crowd of media following him so I knew he was a famous person. I remembered he was a judge on a reality show that I hate to admit getting caught up in. It was Kevin Liles, an executive at Bad Boy records. I turn to my friend and said, "Hey, who is the guy with all the cameras around? What show is he from?" She then replies, "Resa, did you not just see Jay-Z walk by?" I batting 0 for 2 on superstar singer sightings, but throw me a TV celeb and I'll knock it out of the park.

teresa_Jay-Z

Singer Ashanti sitting in the VIP section with her mom.

tesesa_Ashanti

Terry McMillan getting her groove back. She always looks the same in every photo I see, including the one I took of her.

Gospel singer Kirk Franklin. He has to be one of the most petite men I've ever seen. He's up there (or down there, depending on your vantage point) with Prince.

And how could I wrap up the trip without seeing at least one other Seattlelite? Standing in line behind me waiting for a cab was King County Executive Ron Sims. We both fly out Thursday morning, but I'm sure he can call in sick if he wants to.

teresa_Ron Sims

I can't believe it's over, but it was truly an unforgettable week. Forget the celebrity sightings, the mad traffic, the long waits and the free drinks. History was made and I'm so thankful I was there to witness every bit of it in living color.

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