Artists get creative with lyrics to honor Clinton

Piper Weiss
The Difference

It was Bill Clinton's birthday celebration, but Lady Gaga had a special message for his wife, Hillary, at Saturday night's concert honoring the former president. "Sit back down where you belong in the Oval Office with those high heels on," crooned the pop superstar to the Secretary of State in the opening of her song "You and I," which she rearranged as "Hillary, You and I."

That wasn't the only lyrical liberty Gaga took during the star-studded event, "A Decade of Difference: A Concert Celebrating 10 Years of the William J. Clinton Foundation," streamed live on

"I bet when you first met you'd do anything again to go out in Arkansas," she ad-libbed for "Billary" (as she dubbed them), who celebrated their 40th anniversary this year.

The concert was a tribute to the former president, who just celebrated his 65th birthday, and a chance to raise awareness about the Clinton Foundation's humanitarian efforts around the globe.

[ Video: Watch the concert in its entirety ]

It was also an opportunity for Gaga to have her "Marilyn moment," as she called it.

With her eye-curtain pouf of blond hair and red pout, the singer referenced the 1962 celebration for John F. Kennedy when presidential and entertainment history collided in Marilyn Monroe's tempestuous "Happy Birthday" tribute. But Gaga's well wishes weren't just for the president.

"There's something about American nights when a Clinton makes us all feel safe," she sang during a lyrical twist to the introduction of "You and I."

Dressed in an endlessly convertible nude jumpsuit, she interjected references to Clinton's musical tendencies ("I wish you were playing sax with me tonight, baby," she sang) and made references to the birthday boy (the "cool Arkansas guy") in an adaption of her own hits.

During "Born This Way," she replaced the original "I was born this way" lyric with "Bill was born this day."

The audience, which included high-profile Clinton foundation supporters such as Ashton Kutcher, Ellen DeGeneres, and Stevie Wonder, roared with approval.

For her biggest number of the night, the singer changed the titular lyrics of her hit "Bad Romance" to "Bill Romance," breaking out in dance steps only inches from the Clinton family. Later, former President Bill Clinton would joke he worried he'd have a heart attack.

But she wasn't the only performer on the star-studded bill to salute the former president midsong.

During an acoustic performance of "One," U2's Bono added a "Happy birthday to ya" verse just for Bill, as Hillary and Chelsea raised their index fingers and sang along.

Later, when Clinton took to the stage to thank the participants in the concert, he made it clear how overwhelmed he was by the birthday tributes — particularly GaGa's.

"I am the only person in history who got to be president and then had a post-presidential birthday party attended by both Lady Gaga and the Secretary of State," he joked to the crowd gathered at the Hollywood Bowl. In a special show of gratitude to his wife, Clinton praised Hillary's humanitarian efforts and added, "I like it when she's in public office and I'm doing this work." Clearly, Lady Gaga would agree.

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