Multicultural Biden inauguration features Lady Gaga, J.LO and Tom Hanks
WASHINGTON (US) – A dramatic version of the American national anthem was performed by a visibly emotional Lady Gaga at the inauguration of Joe Biden on Wednesday while Garth Brooks sang a cappella. Tom Hanks hosted a night-time celebration which was a star-studded affair.
During the event characterized by diversity and calls for unity, the singer enthralled everyone in a huge fuchsia Schiaparelli couture silk skirt and black top sporting a large gold brooch featuring a dove carrying an olive branch as she crooned “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
At one point during her rendition, she gestured to the US flag fluttering high over the Capitol, which is the seat of the Congress that was attacked by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump two weeks ago.
“She slayed it. I AM GAGA FOR GAGA!!!” actor Ed Helms posted on Twitter.
Before her performance, Gaga tweeted she wanted to “acknowledge our past, be healing for our present, and be passionate for a future where we work together lovingly.”
The popular Christian hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ was sung by country singer Brooks, a Republican, who appeared in a pair of jeans and a black shirt. He took off his black Stetson hat while singing the unaccompanied version of the hymn, appealing to Americans attending the ceremony and watching at home to sing the last verse along with him.
Afterwards, before replacing his face mask, Brooks hugged or shook hands with Biden, former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, outgoing Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Dressed in a white pants and a matching coat, Jennifer Lopez performed a medley of “This Land is Your Land” and “America The Beautiful”. During the performance, she interjected in Spanish the part of the US Pledge of Allegiance that says, “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
The mixed emotions of the past four years were encapsulated by poet Amanda Gorman, 22, in a poem in which she referred to herself as a “skinny Black girl, descended from slaves and raised by a single mother (who) can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one.”
The broadcast across TV and social media on Wednesday night was hosted by actor Hanks, who is known as ‘America’s Dad’.
Compared to Trump’s inauguration, which was low on star power, Biden’s saw some of the biggest white, Black and Hispanic celebs come together.
Wednesday’s TV special, called “Celebrating America,” began with Bruce Springsteen, standing alone on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with an acoustic guitar and crooning “Land of Hope and Dreams.”
Standing nearby, Hanks made a note of the “deep division and a troubling rancour” in recent years, but said “tonight we ponder the United States of America … and the hopes and dreams we all share for a more perfect union.”
There were other performers such as John Legend, Demi Lovato and country singers Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard.