Backstage, Lopez told ET's Kevin Frazier that it came from the mind of Keys herself. "That was Alicia’s brainchild," Lopez shared. "She wanted to show unity, and she wanted to give good energy and great vibes to the night, and it was a great way to do it."
"I’m very proud to have been a part of it," Lopez gushed.
Pinkett Smith added that they "had to keep the secret for Alicia," but also because they had Obama in the building.
"We had to keep it on the low, especially because our forever first lady was here. So for security purposes, we had to keep it low," she explained.
"It’s beautiful, because that’s what art is about. Listen, that’s what humanity is about, coming together. We all need each other, right? And so it’s just about us treating everybody with respect and coming together and celebrating all the blessings we all have. No matter what, right?" Pinkett Smith said. "So it was really nice to be able to see old friends on the stage. You know? All of them. We’ve all known each other a long time, so it’s good."
The crowd couldn't contain their excitement when Obama stepped out on stage.
"From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the 'who run the world' songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story," she said, smiling. "Music helps us share ourselves. Our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear each other and to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters."