Celebrities return to Washington for Biden inauguration...Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, others to perform

Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez

President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration will feature performances by Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, organizers announced Thursday, making the traditional swearing-in ceremony a celebrity-filled affair once again despite ongoing security concerns.

KEY FACTS

Lady Gaga will perform the National Anthem, while Lopez will deliver a separate musical performance during the ceremony.

Amanda Gorman, who was named the country’s first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate, will deliver a poetry reading.

Andrea Hall, the president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 3920, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Longtime friends of the Biden family Father Leo J. O’Donovan and Wilmington-based Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman will deliver the invocation and benediction, respectively.

Beyond the swearing-in ceremony, the inauguration will feature five days of programming with the theme “America United,” including a National Day of Service Jan. 18, a nationwide memorial to those who have died from Covid-19 Jan. 19 and a public art display on the National Mall featuring nearly 200,000 American flags.

KEY BACKGROUND

Celebrities have traditionally had a presence at the inaugural celebration—President Barack Obama’s inaugurations featured the likes of Beyoncé and Aretha Franklin—but largely snubbed President Donald Trump’s swearing-in ceremony in 2017. 

Stars have returned to kick off Biden’s presidency, however, and the swearing-in ceremony will be followed by a primetime special hosted by Tom Hanks with performances by Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake and Jon Bon Jovi. 

Biden’s inauguration is set to take place outdoors at the U.S. Capitol building as usual, though the ceremony will look different than in past years. 

Crowds have been directed to stay home amid the Covid-19 pandemic and security threat, as Trump supporters have signaled they intend to target the ceremony after their recent seizure of the Capitol building. 

The inauguration will have beefed-up security measures in place as a result, including 20,000 National Guard troops that are expected to be deployed to Washington D.C., and the Biden team has said they are confident the event will be secure.
~Forbes


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