The five living former presidents put aside politics and appeared together for the first time since 2013 at a concert on Saturday to raise money for victims of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Democrats Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Republicans George H.W. and George W. Bush gathered in College Station, home of Texas A&M University, to try to unite the country after the storms.
Texas A&M is home to the presidential library of the elder Bush. At 93, he has a form of Parkinson's disease and appeared in a wheelchair at the event. His wife, Barbara, and George W. Bush's wife, Laura, were in the audience.
Grammy award winner Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance at the concert that also featured country music band Alabama, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer 'Soul Man' Sam Moore, gospel legend Yolanda Adams and Texas musicians Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.
The appeal backed by the ex-presidents has raised $31 million since it began on September 7, said Jim McGrath, spokesman for George H.W. Bush.
Backstage, celebrity makeup artist Edward Sanchez had a close-up view of the proceedings. The Los Angeles-based organizers of the event called Sanchez for help and he drove from Houston to College Station at 4 am Saturday to get entertainer Larry Gatlin ready for an appearance on FOX News. Sanchez also worked to prepare Lyle Lovett; the band members of Alabama; Cassadee Pope, the season three winner of NBC’s The Voice: and rising country artist Stephanie Quayle, for their concert appearances.
In addition to meeting the presidents, Sanchez made friends with Secret Service agents who were swarming the arena with all the notables around, and even received a special badge. "It was just an amazing event," Sanchez said. "It was the best experience of my life."
For more coverage of the big night in College Station, read the full story from our partners at ABC13 and check the video below.
CultureMap editor-in-chief Clifford Pugh contributed to this report.