With Inauguration Day just around the corner, it’s time for the event’s lineup of musical heavyweights to start warming up their vocal chords.
Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor are set to sing patriotic tunes — “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” and “America the Beautiful” — during the Jan. 21 ceremony, entertaining viewers in between oaths of office and President Barack Obama's inaugural address.
During other weekend events, like the Kids’ Inaugural concert on Friday and the inaugural balls set to follow the ceremony on Monday evening, a bevy of vocal powerhouses will entertain in the nation’s capital. Set to take the stage are Brad Paisley, Katy Perry, Usher, the cast of “Glee”, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marc Anthony, John Legend, fun. and Mindless Behavior.
To get you in the spirit, we’ve made a playlist of inauguration-appropriate jams from the list of artists currently on the program. First up: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours," the Obama campaign's signature ditty during the '08 and '12 elections. We then played around with empowering numbers (Clarkson's "Stronger," Knowles's "I Was Here") and mixed in some slower staples (Paisley's "When I Get Where I'm Going," Legend's "Ordinary People"), because we know the president wants to share a moment with his wife.
In a November interview, he told Ryan Seacrest: "Whatever it is, it's got to be a slow song so that I can put my moves on Michelle. Something a little romantic, you know?"
The official Obama Inauguration Twitter account released its own Spotify playlist Thursday morning, starting with the same Stevie Wonder hit as ours!
Musicians have performed for many presidents past (Ricky Martin, Jessica Simpson and Hilary Duff sang during George W. Bush’s 2001 and 2005 inaugurations, and Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin and Michael Stipe took the stage for Bill Clinton’s in 1997), but Obama has raised the bar when it comes to big names.
Many will remember his historic swearing-in back in 2009 when Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, John Mellencamp, Josh Groban, U2 and Garth Brooks sang at the ceremony. Then there was Beyoncé, who serenaded the newest president and first lady with an unforgettable rendition of the Etta James classic, “At Last,” at the Neighborhood Ball.
It looks like 2013 could be even more star-studded. Which performer in this year’s lineup are you most excited to see? Let us know in the comments below.
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