While President Obama’s second inauguration might not seem as momentous an occasion as the first one, the musical offerings at the inaugural balls still have major star wattage.
Beyonce, James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson have long been booked for the official Jan. 21 swearing-in ceremony, where Beyonce will sing the national anthem (she performed Etta James’ “At Last” during the couple’s first dance at the 2009 inaugural ball). Taylor and Clarkson will perform “America the Beautiful” and “My Country Tis of Thee” between swearing-ins, while Beyonce will close out with the anthem. The ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time.
Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Usher, Katy Perry, the Mexican rock band Mana and Smokey Robinson are among the other artists who will perform at official events over the inaugural weekend, which includes a children’s concert on Jan. 19. They join Stevie Wonder, Marc Anthony, John Legend, Far East Movement, fun., the R&B; group Mindless Behavior, Nick Cannon with the gospel group Soul Children of Chicago, and the “Glee” cast in the proceedings, which will include two balls at the Washington Convention Center, the Commander in Chief’s ball for military members and the official Inaugural Ball.
Organizers haven’t released a full schedule of artist performances yet for the various events, but the massive main concert is expected to draw 35,000 guests. For those who can’t wait until Monday, the president released a Spotify playlist of selections from the inaugural artists.
Though the ceremonies are taking place on Monday, Jan. 21, Obama will officially be sworn in on Sun., Jan 20, as is constitutionally required. And even though the music acts are A-list, the schedule is actually a modest one for the president -- this year’s inauguration features fewer official balls than any president since Eisenhower.