Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks are performing for President-elect Joe Biden'son January 20, amid a week of events packed with celebrity power but void of crowds.
While theforced changes to the traditional proceedings, the president-elect's chosen theme of "American United" summarizes a campaign run on celebrating differences but coming together over a common good.
The theme "reflects the Biden-Harris commitment to healing the nation and bringing Americans together," according to the inaugural committee. It also reflects the dueling crises the incoming Biden administration is facing, with a global pandemic that has killed nearly 400,000 Americans and the civil unrest that culminated in the riot at the U.S. Capitol in early January.
However, the incoming administration will be as historic as the era they are living in — at 78, Mr. Biden will be the oldest person sworn in as president and the second Catholic to hold the office. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is the first woman, first Black person and first person of Indian descent to be elected to her role. Her husband, Doug Emhoff, will be the first-ever "Second Gentleman."
Beginning at 9:45 a.m. ET, "The President's own" Marine Corps Band will perform throughout the ceremony. The Marine Band is America's oldest continuously active professional musical organization, having been founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress.
The band has played nearly every inauguration since Thomas Jefferson's
Grammy-winning artist Lady Gaga will precede the official swearing-ins with a rendition of the National Anthem at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
Lady Gaga had campaigned for Mr. Biden during the general election and previously worked with the then-Vice President on the "It's On Us" campaign, an Obama administration initiative to address sexual assault on college campuses. The 11-time Grammy winner also founded the Born This Way Foundation in 2011, a nonprofit that supports the wellness of young people.
Jennifer Lopez will also be performing at the ceremony just before Mr. Biden is sworn in, shortly before 12 p.m. ET. The singer and actress spent months speaking out about the COVID-19 pandemic's disproportionate impact on the Latino community.
Winning acclaim as an actress, singer, dancer, producer and businesswoman, Lopez is widely seen as the most influential Latin entertainer in the U.S.
Country star Garth Brooks announced Monday that he would also perform, after what he called "a very sweet ask" from incoming first lady Dr. Jill Biden.
Brooks said in the announcement that he has performed for every president since Jimmy Carter, with the exception of Ronald Reagan and President Trump. He was asked to perform at Mr. Trump's 2016 inauguration, but was not able to appear due to concert commitments.
Mr. Biden's inaugural address will be followed by a poem from the country's first-elect youth poet laureate, 22-year-old Amanda Gorman, who will be the youngest poet to read at an Inauguration Day ceremony.
Inaugural officials say Gorman was chosen by Dr. Jill Biden. Gorman previously told CNN that her poem was originally titled "The Hill We Climb," and she was about halfway through writing it when she saw the assault on the Capitol. Gorman said she finished it that night.
Inauguration Day Parade
The traditionalwill be shortened to a 15-minute long walk beginning at 3:15 p.m., followed by a "virtual parade event" expected to last just over an hour.
Hosted by actor Tony Goldwyn (known for playing fictional President Fitzgerald Grant III in the ABC series "Scandal"), the parade will include Jon Stewart, Andra Day, Olympic athletes as well as bands New Radicals and Earth, Wind & Fire.
"Celebrating America" event
Later in the evening, the new president and vice president will address Americans watching at home rather than hosting a traditional Inaugural Ball, due to COVID-19 precautions.
The 90-minute program, hosted byis titled "Celebrating America" and is set to begin at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time, carried on networks including CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and streaming services like Hulu, YouTube TV and Sling.
The event will feature more celebrity appearances, with performances by Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons, the Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen and John Legend.
In a break from tradition, Mr. Trump and first lady Melania Trump willany inaugural events. Keeping with tradition, the ceremony at the Capitol will be attended by former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush along with their wives. Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn, who are 96 and 93 years old, will be sitting it out.
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