Wednesday marked a day of transition for America, as outgoing President Donald Trump left the White House one last time, and incoming President Joe Biden prepared to move into that residence and take over the reins.
But before the 46th president of the United States took the oath of office, a musical icon took the stage to set the tone for that momentous occasion.
Lady Gaga ushered in Biden’s inauguration with a moving performance of the national anthem.
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Dressed in a custom Schiaparelli haute couture ensemble with a large, golden dove of peace emblazoned across the front by designer Daniel Roseberry and standing on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, the pop star belted out a stunning rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner" for the smaller-than-usual crowd gathered at the Capitol and for the millions who tuned in from around the world.
Roseberry said in a statement obtained by The New York Times: "As an American living in Paris, this ensemble is a love letter to the country I miss so dearly and to a performer whose artistry I have so long admired."
Hours after her performance, Gaga shared a message with her Twitter followers about the golden dove.
"A dove carrying an olive branch," she wrote. "May we all make peace with each other."
Just before stepping into the Inauguration Day spotlight, the Oscar and 11-time Grammy winner tweeted, "Singing our National Anthem for the American People is my honor. I will sing during a ceremony, a transition, a moment of change—between POTUS 45 and 46. For me, this has great meaning."
And just one day before her performance, while visiting the U.S. Capitol for rehearsals, she had another message for her fans and followers on social media.
“I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans,” the 34-year-old wrote alongside a photo of herself inside the landmark building. “A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance, not fear. A day for dreaming of our future joy as a country. A dream that is non-violent, a dream that provides safety for our souls.”
Gaga has been a proponent of Biden and showed up to support the former vice president throughout his 2020 campaign, even hitting the trail in November as he rallied support in his home state of Pennsylvania.
So raising her voice for “The Star-Spangled Banner” was yet another show of support for him — and another display of her skill for singing that notoriously difficult tune.
The first time Lady Gaga performed the national anthem for an audience of millions of television viewers was back at the Super Bowl in 2016.
As for Wednesday’s ceremony, Gaga was just the first of the talents on hand. Jennifer Lopez, who’s also a veteran of the Super Bowl stage, is scheduled to perform as well.
And when prime time rolls around, even more musicians, including Justin Timberlake and Jon Bon Jovi, will ring in the new president with performances on “Celebrating America,” a 90-minute television special hosted by Tom Hanks.
"Celebrating America" will air live on NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and CNN beginning at 8:30 p.m. EST and will also be livestreamed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW, DirectTV and U-verse.