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American Idol: Barack Obama says goodbye

‘Not all of us can sing like Kelly Clarkson, but all of our voices matter,’ says the president

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Even Barack Obama bid farewell to American Idol on Thursday night.

In a pre-taped message, the President of the United States said goodbye to the hit competition show, which aired for 14 years on Fox, and thanked the series for helping get people out to vote.

“This show transformed television, it inspired young artists, and captivated audiences across the country. And it taught America what it means to be pitchy,” the president joked before explaining how he felt Idol changed the cultural landscape. “American Idol has achieved something else as well. For over a decade, this show has motivated millions of young Americans to vote, often and with enthusiasm. We should do the same in our lives as citizens of this country we love. Voting is the most fundamental and sacred right of our democracy. I believe it should be almost as easy as voting on American Idol, and we’re working on that. But when we choose not to vote, we surrender that right. We surrender our voice to someone else.”

The president added, “Not all of us can sing like Kelly Clarkson, but all of our voices matter. This show reached historic heights not only because Americans watched it, but because you participated in its success. The same is true of America. We reach our full potential when every American participates.”

According to numbers released by American Idol, more than 7 billion people voted over the course of the show’s 14 seasons.

Watch the president’s remarks below.