January 23, 2009 at 10:15 PM EST

Of all the self-important celebrities who shamelessly pimped Obama’s inauguration for publicity this week, the one that took me by the biggest surprise was D’Angelo. On Monday, a rep for the long-M.I.A. singer, who has scarcely been seen or heard from in years, dispatched a press release titled, “Soul Icon D’Angelo Pays Tribute to Nation’s 44th President.” His statement was short, sweet, and entirely unnecessary: “Barack Obama is one of the most progressive and dynamic leaders in the world. I believe that even in the face of domestic and global adversity, he will bring about important change.” Ugh! I expect such desperate cries for attention from unabashed exhibitionists like 50 Cent and Kanye West, but not D’Angelo. Silly me for thinking he was above using Obama’s name in vain to promote his upcoming comeback CD, which, not surprisingly, is what the rest of his press release was really all about. Note to D’Angelo: The only important change you should be focused on right now is changing your reputation from has-been to hot again.

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