The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) last week announced a star-studded lineup for the inauguration ceremony, as well as a number of A-list entertainers who will appear at additional events aired after Biden and Harris are sworn in.
Taking the ceremony stage will be Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez with respective performances. Both female artists are more than equipped for entertaining big crowds as they have each previously performed at the Super Bowl. Joining them in a stunning announcement made just days ago is country icon Garth Brooks, who joked earlier this week that he may be the “only Republican” in attendance.
While the ceremonial events will be largely virtual, there is a number of streaming events as well as a prime-time special to follow on Wednesday. See below for a breakdown of the historic events and what stars you can expect to see.
The Grammy and Oscar winner is no stranger to performing at political events. Just months after performing at a rally in Pittsburgh, Penn. alongside Biden, Gaga is set to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” in person at the Capitol on Wednesday.
Fox News caught up with the singer’s father, Joe Germanotta, last week, who shared that he was thrilled his daughter will participate.
“I’m extremely proud,” said Germanotta, a New Yorker. “I’m looking forward to watching it.”
The performer’s father also wished for a “calm day” as the ceremony takes place just two weeks after the Capitol was violently breached by rioters, leaving at least five dead.
Late Tuesday, Gaga shared her own statement about her hope for safety for all.
“I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans,” she said on social media on Tuesday. “A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance not fear. A day for dreaming of our future joy as a country. A dream that is non-violent, a dream that provides safety for our souls.”
Latin superstar Jennifer Lopez will follow Gaga’s performance with a musical performance of her own. Little has been released about what songs Lopez will perform, but her fiance, Alex Rodriguez, earlier this week promised viewers will be “surprised.”
On Tuesday, Lopez teased on Instagram that she had touched down in the country’s capital. In pictures shared to her Instagram, Lopez poses for selfies with members of the military.
“What an honor to spend a few moments with these brave men and women. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. I honor you today and everyday. 🇺🇸 Tomorrow I sing for you and all Americans. ❤️🤍💙 #inauguration2021.”
The country star will also perform at the ceremony. Brooks said Dr. Jill Biden called him personally to invite him to perform.
“I’ve played for every president there is, since Carter, with the exception of Reagan. This is an honor for me to get to serve… and it’s one of the things that, if my family is around, no matter who the president-elect is, it’s an honor to be asked,” he told reporters, according to Entertainment Tonight.
Brooks’ participation stunned his fanbase because he’s as well-known Republican. Some fans claimed they were “looking forward” to watching him onstage on Wednesday while others claimed to have “unfollowed” the star after the announcement was made. However, he made sure to note that his presence there is about bringing people together, not politics.
The PIC announced the theme of Biden’s ceremony to be “America United.”
“At a time of unprecedented crisis and deep divisions, America United reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together, and creates a path to a brighter future,” the organization said in a press release.
“Parade Across America”
There’s also a virtual “Parade Across America” on inauguration afternoon at 3:15 p.m., hosted by actor Tony Goldwyn with appearances by Jon Stewart, Earth Wind & Fire and the New Radicals — reuniting after more than two decades — among many others.
“Our White House”
Actress Keke Palmer will also host “Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans” featuring Dr. Jill Biden. This is a livestream for kids from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will include a message from the new first lady.
“Celebrating America” Special
Tom Hanks will host a primetime special titled “Celebrating America” will be broadcast on several networks including NewsNow from Fox, ABC, CBS and Amazon Prime Video, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Those without access to any of those platforms can also tune in on the PIC’s social media pages.
The Foo Fighters, John Legend, Katy Perry Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bruce Springsteen are also set to entertain viewers.
Hosts Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria will be joined by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, chef Jose Andres, labor leader Dolores Huerta and Kim Ng, the first female general manager in MLB history.
On Tuesday night, Legend’s wife Chrissy Teigen confirmed they were in Washington D.C. with a number of photos shared to Instagram. She stood alongside members of the National Guard whom she called “literal f–king heroes.”
Country artists Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard are also participating in “Celebrating America” with a duet of their new song “Undivided.” McGraw and Hubbard debuted the track last week. In its lyrics, the musicians call for unity among people despite their race, political and religious beliefs. The song’s release comes at a time when tensions are heightened across the nation in the wake of a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol two weeks ago.
The history of celebrities performing at inaugurations dates back to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third inauguration in 1941, when a gala celebration the evening before saw performances from Irving Berlin, Mickey Rooney and Charlie Chaplin, says Lina Mann of the White House Historical Association. “Chaplin performed his monologue from ‘The Great Dictator,’” Mann notes.
The celebrity component only increased over time, and one of the starriest inaugurations was that of John F. Kennedy in 1961. That celebration, hosted by Frank Sinatra, drew Harry Belafonte, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Gene Kelly, Ethel Merman, Laurence Olivier, Sidney Poitier and other celebrities.
Fast forward to the first Barack Obama inauguration in 2009, where Aretha Franklin sang “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” at the swearing-in, and the new president and his wife, Michelle, were serenaded by Beyoncé singing “At Last” at an inaugural ball.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.