Garth Brooks to Perform at Joe Biden's Inauguration: 'This Is Not a Political Statement'

Claudia Harmata
·4 min read

Kevin Mazur/BBMA2020/Getty Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks is going to help America ring in the new presidency.

On Monday, the Country Music Hall of Famer, 58, announced in a press conference that he would be performing at President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration this coming Wednesday.

"This is not a political statement — this is a statement of unity," Brooks said on an afternoon Zoom call with reporters. "Excited, nervous, all the good things because this is history. It's an honor to get to serve. This is kind of how I get to serve this country. Our father served as a United States Marine; in the Korean War, we had brothers who served in the Air Force and the Army ... this is my chance to get to serve. It's been an honor."

He added, "I've played for every president there is, since Carter, with the exception of Reagan. So I've got to sit and have an audience with these people, including President Trump as well. This is an honor for me to get to serve. I got to serve the Clinton Administration with the Concert of the Century, the Bush Administration with Points of Light ... 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."

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The artist then gave some hints into what his Wednesday performance will be. "We were lucky enough to do "We Shall Be Free" at the Obama inauguration, so I don't think we'll see that here," Brooks teased. "But there are plenty of songs of love and unity you can choose from."

"For me, there is the people that love music. So in this case you must rise beyond red and blue, you must rise beyond black and white, gay/straight, male/female. Look at it from above, look at it as America," Brooks explained. "That's always been my thing. You are all welcome at a Garth Brooks concert. The whole mission of a Garth Brooks concert is for the people that come watch the show to leave the show loving each other more than when they came in. So that's never going to change for me."

"I might be the only Republican at this place," he joked. "But it's reaching across, loving one another because that's what's going to get us through probably the most divided times that we have. I want the divided times to be behind us. I want to be able to differ in opinion and hug each other at the same football game. We don't want people all thinking the same."

Brooks continued, "As long as you have people like the Bidens who are hellbent on making things good … That makes me feel good. Because I want to spend the next 10 years of my life not divided. I'm so tired of being divided."

"You can't just take extreme left and extreme right because there's a silent majority in the middle that's going to dwarf both of them

Last week, officials announced that Lady Gaga will sing the National Anthem at the swearing-in ceremony. Jennifer Lopez is also performing.

Neilson Barnard/Getty; Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic; Alexander Tamargo/Getty From left: Lady Gaga, President-elect Joe Biden and Jennifer Lopez

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A host of celebrities have also been confirmed their they would be celebrating with a primetime TV special, hosted by Tom Hanks, airing after Biden's swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol — including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and José Andrés.

Miranda, 41, is set to recite a "classic work" during the program, according to a release from the Biden-Harris transition.

Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington will introduce various segments throughout the program, which will include celebrity guests such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, John Legend, Demi Lovato, and Justin Timberlake.

RELATED: John Legend, Eva Longoria, Bruce Springsteen and Kerry Washington Will All Appear at Biden Inaugural Special

Maya Harris/Twitter President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris

Each performance will be filmed in a different location across the country and will be streamed online and on television. The swearing-ceremony is still expected to be an in-person event be held on the Capitol steps, with a much-downsized crowd largely consisting of lawmakers and officials.

The unprecedented inaugural ceremonies will begin as early as 11:30 a.m. ET, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, according to NPR. Biden is then expected to take the oath of office at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, Celebrating America will air Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET) on ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and NBC as well as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and other streaming platforms.