Surprise! Michelle Obama joins Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Lopez onstage at the Grammys

Hatty Collier

Former First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance at the Grammy Awards and hailed music for “always helping me tell my story”.

Mrs Obama appeared on stage during the opening address of the ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday and was met with a standing ovation from the star-studded crowd.

At one point, when she was drowned out by thunderous applause from the crowd, she laughed and said: “All right you all, all right, we got a show to do.”

She was supporting close friend and Grammy host Alicia Keys who kicked off the show by inviting Mrs Obama, 55, along with Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez, to share personal anecdotes about how music has changed their lives and empowered them as women.

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“From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side, to the ‘who run the world’ songs that fuelled me through this last decade, music has always helped me to tell my story,” she told the audience.

"Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves – our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another."

Former first lady Michelle Obama make a surprise appearance at the Grammys (Getty Images)

“Music shows us that all of it matters, every story within every voice, every note within every song – is that right ladies?“ Mrs Obama said before looking around at the woman on stage with her.

Gaga told the crowd: "They said I was weird, that my look, that my choices, that my sound wouldn't work. But music told me not to listen to them."

Pinkett Smith and Lopez also spoke and stood in solidary with Obama, Gaga and Alicia Keys, who hosted the show airing on CBS.

"Yes, ladies," Keys said. "There's nothing better than this."

Afterwards, Mrs Obama shared a picture of the group backstage: “A big part of friendship is showing up for your girls—that’s why I was thrilled to be there for the one and only @aliciakeys at the #GRAMMYs.

“She is one of the most genuine and thoughtful people I know—there’s no one better to help us all celebrate the unifying power of music!”