Washington, United States:
Pop superstar Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem during Joe Biden’s swearing-in as President of the United States on January 20, with Jennifer Lopez also performing at the largely virtual event, a- was announced Thursday.
The two music icons will headline an inauguration like no other, with increased security in Washington against threats from extremist supporters of incumbent President Donald Trump after he attacked the U.S. Capitol last week in an attempt to cancel election results.
Local authorities are asking people to stay away from ceremonies to reduce the risk of unrest – and to see the swearing-in turn into a mainstream Covid-19 event.
Instead, Biden’s inaugural committee said it will air five days of ‘America United’ themed programming that “will honor inaugural traditions while safely allowing more Americans than ever to participate since. their own homes “.
The calendar includes “United We Serve,” a national day of service on January 18, Martin Luther King Jr .; a national COVID-19 memorial to lives lost on January 19; and wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery on dedication day.
In place of the hundreds of thousands of people who usually crowd the National Mall for the grand opening, the committee will set up a “field of flags” which it says “will represent the American people unable to travel.”
The 90-minute inaugural show “Celebrating America” will be hosted by Tom Hanks and feature more musical performances, by Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake and Demi Lovato, and will air on all major US networks, reported the American media.
Gaga and Lopez will perform at the ceremony itself, which will be held on the steps of the Capitol building, which still bears the scars of the January 6 attack.
Gaga has been a staunch supporter of Biden, appearing at his campaign final in Pittsburgh in November; while Lopez has been outspoken in recent months about Covid-19 relief efforts.
Some 20,000 National Guard troops are expected in Washington for Biden’s inauguration. The capital is already under tight security, with much of the city center fenced and under surveillance.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has asked visitors to stay at home due to the raging pandemic, and Airbnb banned reservations in the capital at the time of the inauguration.
Aretha Franklin sang at Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, while Beyonce sang at her second four years later.
Trump – who on Wednesday became the first president to be impeached a second time for instigating a Capitol “insurgency” – had to settle for lesser-known artists in 2017 due to his unpopularity in the entertainment world. Country singer Toby Keith was the headliner for the event.
The outgoing president, who claims the election was rigged to deny him victory, will not attend the inauguration.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)