Lady Gaga to sing national anthem at Joe Biden’s inauguration

April Roach
·3 min read
<p>Lady Gaga performs during a drive-in campaign rally held by Joe Biden</p> (Reuters)

Lady Gaga performs during a drive-in campaign rally held by Joe Biden

(Reuters)

Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem at Joe Biden’s inauguration, it has been announced.

The 34-year-old will perform The Star-Spangled Banner at the swearing-in on January 20 as Mr Biden succeeds Donald Trump and Kamala Harris becomes vice-president.

Jennifer Lopez will also deliver a musical performance during the ceremony, while the pledge of allegiance will be led by firefighter Andrea Hall.

Gaga was among those celebrities, including John Legend and Jon Bon Jovi, who campaigned for Mr Biden and Ms Harris ahead of November’s election.

Tom Hanks will also host a TV special celebrating the event which will feature stars including Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Ant Clemons.

According to producers, the TV special “will showcase the American people’s resilience, heroism, and unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild”.

Timberlake said he and singer song-writer Clemons will perform their new song Better Days.

“This song was our way of doing what little we could to encourage everyone to stay hopeful” said the Cry Me a River singer.

Lovato told her Instagram following that she was “left speechless” when asked to perform.

Clemons also took to Instagram to share his delight at being asked to perform. “To say that this is a dream come true, would be an understatement!” he said.

The special will be broadcast live on US TV networks ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and MSNBC. It will also be streamed live on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW, DirectTV and U-verse.

The theme for Mr Biden’s inauguration is “America United”, which the Presidential Inaugural Committee said “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 event will look different from other presidential inaugurations because of Covid-19 and security concerns following last week’s riot at the US Capitol in Washington.

Mr Biden has asked supporters to say at 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.

The event has been designated as a “national special security event”, which clears the way for communication, funding and preparation between multiple agencies in Washington, like the Capitol Police, Pentagon, Homeland Security and District-area police.

Mr Biden himself has not expressed concern about his own security at the inauguration.

“I’m not afraid of taking the oath outside,” he told reporters on Monday. “It is critically important that there’ll be a real serious focus on holding those folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage – that they be held accountable.”

Law enforcement officials never go into too much detail about security so would-be attackers are not tipped off, but US Secret Service special agent in charge Michael Plati said they have taken into account the siege.

“It’s a poignant reminder of what can happen,” he said.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

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