Lady Gaga will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Wednesday for Inauguration Day.
It’s bound to be a goosebumps-inducing moment at the U.S. Capitol, which was seized by insurrectionists flying other flags on Jan. 6, as Gaga points to the American flag and crescendos to the words, “Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there!”
The noon swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden will also feature a performance by country legend Garth Brooks, who said on Monday, “This is a great day in our household. This is not a political statement. This is a statement of unity.”
Brooks has performed for Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, whose inauguration saw a moment for the ages when Brooks sang “We Shall Be Free” for America’s first Black president at the Lincoln Memorial.
Brooks skipped President Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural, citing a scheduling conflict.
“I want to spend the next 10 years of my life not divided,” said Brooks, a Republican and the top-selling solo artist in all of music history. “I’m so tired of being divided.”
Trump will not attend the ceremony, becoming the first president to snub his successor’s inauguration since President Andrew Johnson skipped President Ulysses S. Grant in 1869.
After the swearing-in, Biden will join past presidents from both political parties for a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
At 3:15 p.m., a virtual “Parade Across America” will feature performances in all 56 states and territories, including the Howard University drumline and The Washington Chorus. The streaming event will also feature Jon Stewart; Earth, Wind & Fire; New Radicals and Andra Day.
Evening events will forgo the traditional Inaugural Balls due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has killed nearly 400,000 Americans, soon surpassing World War II (405,000 battle deaths) to become the third deadliest event behind only the Spanish Flu and Civil War.
Instead, multiple networks will air “Celebrating America” from 8:30 to 10 p.m.
Hosted by two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks, the telecast will showcase a mix of stars and everyday citizens, including a UPS driver, a kindergarten teacher and Sandra Lindsey, the first American to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial.
Celebrity appearances include John Legend, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Justin Timberlake, Kerry Washington, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim McGraw, Demi Lovato, Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen, who performed “The Rising” at the 2009 inaugural.