Barack and Michelle Obama have slow-danced their way back to the White House at a monster inaugural ball featuring some of the biggest stars in popular music.
Like the king and queen of a high school prom, the President and First Lady flashed awkward smiles as they held each other closely and swayed to Jennifer Hudson covering Al Green's 1972 soul classic, Let's Stay Together.
The black-tie and sequined crowd of up to 40,000 in the dark belly of Washington's convention centre cheered wildly, raising their hands as one to capture the moment on their digital cameras and smartphones.
For her choice of gown, Michelle Obama stayed loyal to Jason Wu, choosing the young Taiwanese-born, New York-based designer for her much-anticipated inaugural ball dress - just as she did four years ago.
'Just danced to Let's Stay Together with the love of my life and the President of the United States,' she said via Twitter after stepping off the stage. 'I'm so proud of Barack.'
In contrast to the 10 official inaugural balls that followed his historic inauguration four years ago as the first black US president, Mr Obama favoured one jumbo soiree this time - open to anyone fast enough to snap up the $60 tickets online - plus a smaller by-invitation affair for the armed forces.
The Obamas, running late, had yet to arrive at the convention centre when Alicia Keys got the party started by sitting at an electric piano and reworking the title track of her latest album, Girl on Fire.
'He's President and he's on fire... Ohhhh-bama's on fire,' she sang. She then went on to affectionately rejig one verse: 'Everybody knows Michelle's his girl/together they run the world.'
Next on stage were Mexican rockers Mana, in a nod to Latinos whose vote helped win Mr Obama a second term, before Brad Paisley delivered a powerful country set including his current chart-topper, Southern Comfort Zone.
'Our democracy is the envy of the world, and tonight we celebrate by getting drunk in a huge convention centre,' Paisley said between songs.
Other performers included the legendary Stevie Wonder and Grammy-nominated hipster indie favourites Fun.
There was nothing glamorous about the catering - beer and sparkling wine in plastic cups and peanuts and pretzels on paper plates. But if Mr Obama's supporters were disappointed, they didn't let on.
'It's a bargain for an event of a lifetime,' Washington financial securities lawyer, Kosha Dalal, told AFP by the bullpen where organisers sequestered accredited journalists.
It was her first inaugural ball.
'We're very big supporters of President Obama and we really wanted to be here,' added Amy Kuhn, a staffer at a non-profit organisation in New York, who travelled to the capital with her partner, Erin Hogeboom.
'I'm really looking to a lot (from the new Obama term) on equality on a wider scale, like gay marriage and women's rights,' added Ms Hogeboom, a graduate student in global affairs.