Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez to Sing at Bidens Inauguration

 nytimes.com  01/14/2021 17:15:00   Matt Stevens

Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will be among the A-list artists to take part next week in the inauguration ceremonies of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., his inaugural committee announced Thursday, adding their names to a lineup that includes Justin Timberlake and Jon Bon Jovi.

In a news release, the Presidential Inaugural Committee said that Lady Gaga would sing the national anthem at the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20 and that Lopez would offer a musical performance of some kind.

Amanda Gorman, who in 2017 became the first National Youth Poet Laureate in the United States, will read poetry; a firefighter will lead the Pledge of Allegiance; and a priest and a pastor who are close friends of Mr. Biden will lead the invocation and benediction.

They represent one clear picture of the grand diversity of our great nation and will help honor and celebrate the time-honored traditions of the presidential inauguration as President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris take the oath of office on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, Tony Allen, the head of the head Presidential Inaugural Committee said in a statement.

The performance announcements add new detail to the emerging portrait of Mr. Bidens reimagined inauguration  one that will be taking place amid heightened health and safety concerns as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage and Washington grapples with the fallout of last weeks riot at the Capitol by a Trump-aligned mob.

On Wednesday, Mr. Bidens inaugural committee announced that it would hold a prime time television event to close out the festivities and that the event featuring Timberlake and Bon Jovi that would be hosted by the actor Tom Hanks.

Art and music have long been leveraged by incoming presidents to help capture the mood of the moment, provide symbolism and help advance the broad themes the new administration is focused on. In Mr. Bidens case, that theme is America United in a time of sharp partisanship and division  an inaugural theme that echoes a through line of Mr. Bidens campaign, during which he repeatedly pledged to restore the soul of the nation.

And although many aspects of the swearing-in ceremony will recall past inaugurations, the proceedings will generally be smaller and socially-distanced, and some events will take place virtually. Officials have indicated that there will be a televised virtual parade across America and a public art installation on the National Mall. With the virus raging, there have been no mentions of indoor, in-person inaugural balls or galas.

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