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BIRTHDAY GIRL (PHOTOS): Malia Obama turns 18 on July 4, but that does not mean she is independent yet

buzzz worthy. . .

This Independence Day is going to be doubly special for America's First Daughter, Malia Obama. Not only are some of her favorite artists, Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monae performing at the White House 4th of July Cookout today in honor of military families, but today is also Malia's 18th birthday. That does not mean she has gained her independence. During this pre-adult phase the budding beauty has spent a lot of time with her family as their whirlwind final year in the White House winds to a close.

The first born Obama daughter just returned from a three country tour -- Liberia, Morocco and Spain -- with her mother, sister and grandmother promoting girls education globally in support of the First Lady's initiative, #letgirlslearn. Earlier this years she translated Spanish for President Obama during the family's trip to Cuba and met the Pope. Malia graduated from high school in June and is taking a year off before entering Harvard University.

Blossoming into a young lady right before our eyes, each year she looks more like her mother's twin sister. When she does step out on her own, it's going to be hard for her dad to see her go. Mr. Obama admitted he wore shades at the graduation to hide tears. Dad made sure he got one-on-one time with Malia, allowing her to tag along on trips to Chicago and California.

Happy birthday Malia!