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George Bush, Laura Bush
Manuel Balce Ceneta  /  AP
President Bush and first lady Laura Bush listened to classic carols performed by Taylor Hicks, Gretchen Wilson and others.
updated 12/10/2006 8:52:57 PM ET 2006-12-11T01:52:57

President Bush enjoyed a lively set of Christmas music Sunday night, swaying and bobbing his head as music stars like Taylor Hicks and Gretchen Wilson belted out classic carols.

TV host “Dr. Phil” McGraw and his wife, Robin, emceed the annual “Christmas in Washington” concert at the National Building Museum. The event benefited the Children’s National Medical Center.

“Since this event began a quarter of a century ago, ’Christmas in Washington’ has become one of the most cherished holiday traditions here in our nation’s capital,” Bush said.

As Americans gather with their families over the holidays, Bush said, U.S. troops abroad “must know that our nation is grateful for your service.”

“American Idol” winner Hicks led off the show with “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” Country singer Wilson performed “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” while 12-year-old “America’s Got Talent” champ Bianca Ryan sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Pop-opera quartet Il Divo performed “White Christmas.” The lineup also included soul singers Chris Brown and Corinne Bailey Rae.

The president and first lady Laura Bush joined all the performers onstage for the finale, including “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.”

The event will air Wednesday night on Turner Network Television.

Earlier Sunday, the Bushes attended services at St. John’s Episcopal Church, a block away from the White House. The president also went on a bike ride at a wildlife refuge in Maryland.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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