Inauguration Day 2021: Garth Brooks to perform at Biden-Harris ceremony
WASHINGTON - Country superstar Garth Brooks will perform during the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
On a Zoom call Monday with media outlets, Brooks, 58, confirmed his acceptance of Biden’s invitation to be part of the swearing-in ceremony, saying it was "an honor."
Biden’s inaugural committee said future first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, personally reached out to the singer. Brooks joked that he’ll likely be "the only Republican at the ceremony" but made sure to note his presence will be about bringing people together, not politics.
"So I think what you want, more than anything, is an overall like-mindedness, love one another, treat people the way you want to be treated," Brooks said regarding the message he wants to send with his performance.
Brooks said he will be by himself in a "bare-bones" performance given the pandemic and tight security around Washington. He said he’s grown used to not performing for large crowds over the past few months.
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"Before you ever get to be an artist, before you ever get your record deal, you closed your eyes and you played for hundreds of thousands of people," he explained. "Every time you close your eyes, you see those people."
This isn’t the first time Brooks has performed at a presidential inauguration. He previously performed at Barack Obama’s2008 swearing-in ceremony.
Obama, as well as former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will attend Biden’s inauguration. President Donald Trump said he will not be attending.
Per tradition, Biden will be inaugurated at noon on Jan. 20, becoming the 46th president of the United States.
The committee said one of Biden’s first acts as president will be to then lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery.
After the day’s inaugural events, Biden’s inaugural committee will present a virtual "Celebrating America" prime-time special hosted by Tom Hanks. The event, which will air and stream live on multiple channels including NewsNOW from FOX, will include performances by Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Ant Clemons and Jon Bon Jovi. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will also give remarks.
Biden and Harris' swearing-in, and the normal events surrounding it, are scaled down this year or are happening virtually due to health risks amid the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the 90-minute special will also celebrate American heroes who are helping their fellow citizens through the worsening crisis — including frontline workers, health care workers and teachers.
"We have witnessed countless heroes this past year step up to the frontlines and serve their fellow Americans, so we are telling their stories, spreading their collective light, and celebrating the best of our country and its people with this prime-time program," said Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Tony Allen. "Our first priority is safety — so while many of us will be watching safely from our homes, we are creating real moments of connection that highlight a new inclusive American era of leadership that works for and represents all Americans."
The "Celebrating America" special will air from 8:30 to 10 p.m. ET/PT.
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Biden will be sworn-in at the same place where the mob of President Donald Trump supporters breached the Capitol building on Jan. 6, breaking windows, leveling barriers, scaling walls and violently clashing with police.
A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies. Lawmakers had to scramble for safety and hide as rioters took control of the Capitol and delayed for several hours the last step in finalizing Biden's victory.
Brooks told reporters Monday that he found the recent violence that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to be "disturbing and sad."
Fox News contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.