News Column

Entertainers at Obama's Inaugural to Include Clarkson, Beyonce

Jan 9, 2013
Kelly Clarkson

Pop singers Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Clarkson are among the top entertainers who are to perform at US President Barack Obama's inauguration, the committee planning the ceremony said Wednesday.

Easy-listening favourite James Taylor is also in the lineup for the January 21 event in Washington. Taylor and Knowles both performed at the 2009 inauguration. Beyonce made a big splash at the evening ball, singing Etta James' classic At Last while Obama and the first lady danced their first dance.

Obama will be formally sworn into office on January 20, in keeping with the dictates of the US constitution. But because it is a Sunday, only a few people will attend the low-key ceremony and the swearing-in will be re-enacted at noon the next day, January 21, on the steps of the Capitol, in front of the huge crowds that always gather for the event.

At Monday's event, Beyonce will sing the national anthem, Clarkson will perform My Country `Tis of Thee and Taylor will sing America the Beautiful. The committee said Obama was involved in the selection of the performers.

"Vice President Biden and I are honored to have these wonderfully talented musical artists perform at the inaugural ceremony," Obama said. "Their music is often at the heart of the American story and speaks to folks across the country."

Richard Blanco, the son of Cuban exiles, will be featured as the 2013 inaugural poet, the committee said. Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of murdered civil-rights activist Medgar Evers, will give the invocation and Reverend Louie Giglio will deliver the benediction.

The celebration will include the re-enacted swearing-in on the Capitol's west front at noon (1700 GMT), followed by a luncheon inside the building where Congress meets.

A tradition for more than a century, the luncheon will be attended by the president, vice president and members of the Supreme Court, cabinet and Congress, said Charles Schumer, a senator from New York and inaugural committee chairman.

The menu includes steamed lobster, hickory grilled bison, red potato horseradish cake and three types of wine. Schumer said the menu reflects the theme of the luncheon: Faith in America's Future. The theme commemorates the United States' perseverance and unity and marks the 150th anniversary of the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol dome in 1863, Schumer noted.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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