Is it any wonder the man introduced as a diplomatic rock star was able to attract a veritable cavalcade of real rock stars to come out and play?
Of course, it wasn't just rock (and pop) stars like Lady Gaga, Usher, Kenny Chesney, Stevie Wonder and half of U2 who came out for Saturday night's A Decade of Difference concert at the Hollywood Bowl, which served as both a 10-year celebration of the global works of the Clinton Foundation as well as the belated 65th birthday party for President Bill Clinton himself (Bono and The Edge even took time out from their set to croon "Happy Birthday" to the former commander-in-chief).
But while the night did, at times, take on a serious tone, those were interspersed between moments like Usher suffering a major wardrobe malfunction, Lady Gaga having her own presidential Marilyn Monroe moment, and Ashton Kutcher taking the stage to an onslaught of cheers. So, did the man currently at the center of an unrelenting tabloid storm give the media any more fuel for their fire? And more importantly, did he mention Demi Moore?
As far as the latter question goes, in a way, yes.
And as the for the former—well, seeing as how every move he or Demi makes at this point seems fair game for speculation, yes as well.
Kutcher came onstage midway through the concert to introduce Usher, and his presence immediately yielded one of the biggest cheers of the night. (Note to cynics: This was not just a publicity ploy, his ties to Clinton go way back, as Kutcher was also a speaker at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative.)
He proceeded to give credit to the William J. Clinton Foundation, saying, "empowering people is at the core" of what it does, the same thing, he said, that he has tried to do with what he referred to as "my foundation," DNA.
Though he really should've said their foundation, as DNA actually stands, of course, for Demi and Ashton—in any case, that was the extent of his speech, aside from the requisite menton of his (uh, and Demi's) campaign against sex trafficking, Real Men Don't Buy Girls.
He was followed onstage by Usher, whose three-song set was so rousing that somewhere between "Yeah" and "Oh My God," the R&B superstar's pants split—though thankfully the rip was nowhere that comprised his modesty too much. Instead, Usher was forced to complete his set with his left thigh (and only his left thigh) bared—he made sure of that by holding his pant leg together during some of his more potentially exposing dance moves.
The wardrobe malfunction didn't go unnoticed by the audience, and it certainly didn't go unnoticed by Ellen DeGeneres, who introduced Lady Gaga.
"Sorry I'm late, I had a rip in my pants and I had to fix it," she joked.
As for Gaga, if there was a prize for best customization of a performance, she would surely take it home.
After emerging from some type of rickety, nightmare tree house in a nude bodysuit and mint green locks, she launched into "Born This Way," tweaking the introduction to tell Clinton, "She made you perfect, Bill."
Later, she had an onstage costume change and said, "I'm so happy to be here, Bill, I'm having my first Marilyn moment and I was hoping it wouldn't involve an accident and a strand of pearls, so here we are."
She then launched into "The Edge of Glory," and, to laughs from Billary—as she christened the political couple—she said, "I wish you were playing sax with me tonight, baby."
She continued her personalized theme with "Bad Romance"—or "Bill Romance," as she crooned it—during which she walked to the stage directly in front of the Clintons, where she proceeded to writhe around in her trademark way.
"If someone had told me years ago that I'd be doing that in front of you, I wouldn't have believed them. I would have given them a good old American f--k you."
Of course, the night wasn't totally Bill-centric, as Gaga dedicated her final song, "You and I," to Hilary, again changing up the lyrics to include the lines, "Sit back down where you belong in the Oval Office with those high heels on."
Even stars who weren't present physically made a point to contribute to the festivities, as an all-star taped bit was played to the crowd of the imagined "Celebrity Division" of the Clinton Foundation. Ben Stiller, Matt Damon, Sean Penn, Kristen Wiig, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Jack Black, Kevin Spacey—who the ex president said "does a better me than me"—and Clinton himself all featured in the video, which Bill later called "a hoot." (Other celebs interspersed throughout the night included Jason Segel, Maria Bello, Colin Farrell, K'naan and Juanes.)
Bono and The Edge closed out the show with some of their hits—like "Desire," "One," and "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"—and "songs that should've been hits," but not before the man of the hour took the stage himself.
And he didn't disappoint.
"I've got to put on my glasses, there's gotta be someone on this stage tonight who's not cool," Clinton said before launching into some personal thank yous.
"I want to thank Kenny Chesney for coming so I wouldn't be the only person up here with an accent," he said. Of Laura Ling, who earlier paid tribute to Clinton, he called her "a friend," and joked, "I can say, 'There's a girl I picked up in North Korea.'
"How cool is it to be 65 and get Gaga?" he continued, going on to mention her Marilyn moment from earlier in the show. "My God, I get Lady Gaga and I'm gonna have a heart attack on my 65th birthday."
He was clearly smitten—and the feeling was obviously mutual—as he mentioned that he was probably "the only person who's birthday party was attended by both Lady Gaga and the Secretary of State…I've had the most unusual life."
Now there's an understatement.