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Who knew?! President Obama can sing

The American public expects a lot from its president, but no one expected what he delivered Thursday night.

During a fundraiser at New York's legendary Apollo Theater, President Barack Obama broke into the opening lyrics of Al Green's hit, "Let's Stay Together." And the mini-performance was shockingly good. (Vote: Who did it better?)

Sure, President Obama delivered only the "I ... I'm so in love with you," portion of the song, but compared to the recent batch of primetime singers on the new season of "American Idol," it would have been enough to get him through to the Hollywood rounds.

Or, as TODAY host Matt Lauer put it when reviewing the footage this morning, "That makes up for him blocking (New York) traffic last night."

The performance wasn't just a surprise to the audience, but to Obama's handlers in the wings as well. After singing, the president pointed offstage and said "Those guys didn't think I would do it! I told you I was gonna do it!"

He also joked, "The Sandman did not come out," referencing the late Howard "Sandman" Sims, an Apollo mainstay who would famously give failed acts the hook and usher them offstage.

Following his effort, the president turned to Green, who was in the audience, and said, "Don't worry, Rev, I cannot sing like you, but I just wanted to show my appreciation."

Mission accomplished.

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