USATODAY.COM – Beyonce, James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson to sing for President Obama
Those three will be the big names at the inauguration (besides President Obama).
Beyoncé, James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson will perform the patriotic songs at the second inauguration of President Obama on Jan. 21, the inauguration committee will announce today.
Beyoncé, who’s also starring at the Super Bowl halftime show next month, will sing the national anthem, always a tough tune to pull off well.
Taylor, the Sweet Baby James icon of ’70s folk-rock, will sing “America the Beautiful”.
And Clarkson, the first winner of American Idol (2002), will sing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”, the song with different lyrics but the same tune as the British national anthem. At the first Obama inaugural ceremony in 2009, soul diva Aretha Franklin sang it while wearing a memorable hat.
More announcements about entertainment at the inauguration are expected in coming days.
All this will take place during the public swearing-in ceremonies on the Capitol steps, when President Obama delivers his second inaugural address before a crowd likely to top more than 1 million.
Obama will officially take the oath of office at the White House on Jan. 20, as per the Constitution, but the repeat swearing-in ceremony, the inaugural parade, the lunch with Congress and the inaugural balls will take place on Monday.
In 2009, an estimated 1.8 million people turned up on the National Mall to watch the historic inauguration of the nation’s first black president; this time, in light of the economic situation, the inauguration will be more low-key, with fewer people expected and only two official balls.
Maria Puente, USA TODAY