Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem at Joe Biden’s inauguration and Jennifer Lopez will give a musical performance on the West Front of the US Capitol when Biden is sworn in as the nation’s 46th president next Wednesday.
“They represent one clear picture of the grand diversity of our great nation,” his team said in a statement on Thursday.
The presenters reflect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ “steadfast vision of a new chapter in our American story in which we are an America united in overcoming the deep divisions and challenges facing our people, unifying the country, and restoring the soul of our nation”, it added.
The announcement of their participation comes one day after word that Tom Hanks will host a 90-minute primetime TV special celebrating Biden’s inauguration. Other performers include Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Ant Clemons.
“I was left speechless when I was asked to perform! ” Lovato wrote on Instagram. Clemons was also effusive: “To say that this is a dream come true, would be an understatement!”
Timberlake said he and Clemons would perform their new song Better Days, adding: “This song was our way of doing what little we could to encourage everyone to stay hopeful.”
The special will be broadcast live on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and MSNBC beginning at 8:30pm ET on January 20. It will also be streamed live on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW, DirectTV and U-verse.
According to producers, the show “will showcase the American people’s resilience, heroism, and unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild”.
The inauguration will look different from other presidential inaugurations because of last week’s riot at the US Capitol. Security will be extremely tight around the area.
The event was already going to be pared down because of Covid-19; Biden had asked supporters to say home and watch from afar. In keeping with crowd size restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, traditional activities like the parade and the inaugural balls will be virtual.