Yoon Suk Yeol Surprises WH Guests, Sings 'American Pie'

President Biden then presented South Korean president with guitar signed by Don McLean
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2023 6:19 AM CDT
S. Korean Leader's Visit to WH Turns Into Open Mic Night
President Biden surprises South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol with a guitar signed by Don McLean at the White House in Washington on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and his wife, Kim Keon Hee, were the guests of honor at the White House on Wednesday, and the evening was capped with show tune performances by Broadway stars. But Yoon himself was part of the night's entertainment, after the commissioned singers sang a rendition of Don McLean's "American Pie," reports Reuters. "We know this is one of your favorite songs," President Biden said to his counterpart as they stood on the stage in the State Dining Room, per the Guardian.

Yoon confirmed it was, relaying he'd loved the classic 1971 tune since he was in school. That's when Biden asked Yoon, who's a karaoke aficionado, to take the song out for a spin —and Yoon obliged. "A long, long time ago," he began, to the cheering of enthusiastic guests at the dinner, including Biden, first lady Jill Biden, and actor Angelina Jolie. After crooning a few lines from the song, the 62-year-old received a standing ovation.

"I had no damn idea you could sing," a shocked Biden informed him. The US president then gifted the South Korean leader with a guitar signed by McLean, who couldn't be there himself, Biden explained. However, the 77-year-old singer definitely took notice of Yoon's performance, retweeting several posts showing it, including one that said, "I think @donmclean would be proud." (More Yoon Suk Yeol stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.