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Bill Clinton Stuns Ellen DeGeneres with Birthday Message

Former President Bill Clinton left comedienne-turned-chat show host Ellen DeGeneres speechless on her birthday show Friday when he sent her a special message.

Clinton had DeGeneres, who turned 48 on Thursday, choking back the tears as he commended her for making America laugh and think.

He also praised the comic for her efforts to rebuild her native New Orleans following the devastation of last summer’s Hurricane Katrina.

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In his heartfelt, taped address, the former leader said, “I’m glad to join many of your friends in wishing you the best of this day and in thanking you for another year of making us laugh and making us think.

“Of course, I’m especially grateful for what you’ve done for New Orleans and the whole Katrina area, the $10 million you raised for the Red Cross, the $1 million for Toys for Tots.

“I’m still working there too and a lot of people are better off because of your efforts… You’re one of a kind, you’re a wonder and I’m glad you’ve been my friend. Happy birthday.”

The stunned host sat in silence following the clip, as members of her studio audience—who were also celebrating birthdays—gave her a standing ovation, before stammering, “Thank you… Bill.”

Clinton‘s speech wasn’t the only surprise for DeGeneres—mystery musical guest Mary J. Blige performed for her.

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