Inauguration festivities showcase performers

Courtesy of Shutterstock | Lady Gaga sings the US National Anthem during Biden's inauguration.

In honor of newly inaugurated President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, entertainers across the country banded together in celebration. Aptly titled “Celebrating America,” the live telecast across multiple networks showcased performances and appearances by some of the country’s favorite stars. 

The inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President Kamala D. Harris took place on Jan. 20. Spectators from television across the country and in person witnessed the swearing-in of a new beginning for America in Washington D.C. The ceremony included singers, Lady Gaga performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Jennifer Lopez performing “This Land Is Your Land.”

In a press release issued by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the committee wrote, “The capstone primetime program for the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Kamala D. Harris to celebrate the beginning of a new national journey toward an America united,” said the Presidental Inaugural Committee in a press release. 

The press release expanded on what the special would focus on making sure to encourage Americans along the way. 

“The American people’s resilience, heroism, and a unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild,” the Presidental Inaugural Committee said.  

Following that evening, the primetime telecast of “Celebrating America” broadcasted live on over six networks and streamed across multiple platforms, including ABC, CNN, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch in the United States.

Tom Hanks hosted the event and kicked off the night leading special appearances by actresses Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chef José Andrés and the first woman MLB general manager, Kim Ng. 

It also included special performances across the globe from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jon Bon Jovi, Ant Clemons, Foo Fighters, John Legend, Demi Lovato, Bruce Springsteen and Justin Timberlake. 

Additionally, the telecast celebrated everyday Americans and their work in their local communities during the pandemic. The telecast highlighted six people including 8 year-old Morgan Marsh-McGlone from Wisconsin, Illinois. The elementary schooler created an online lemonade stand, raising over $50,000 for under-fed students and families due to COVID-19. 

With Americans tuning in across the county to watch the live celebration and support from today’s  stars. 

“I believe this new administration has a lot more support from celebrities than previously,” said Kristin Thoroddsen, junior sociology major. “We saw this throughout the election. Young Americans look up to celebrities and influencers. They have much influence on people’s beliefs.”

Kevin Zelaya, junior mechanical engineering major, said he thought the event was over the top. 

“This is supposed to be professional and the transitioning of power, not the VMAs,” Zelaya said. “It was an attempt to gain the approval of viewers and people through celebrities. Don’t try and fool the American people with dazzle. Win the people over by creating policies that we need and helping the country.”

Finishing the festivities off Katy Perry performed her song “Firework” as fireworks lit up the D.C. sky. Both the first and second families watched on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

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