Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, and Foo Fighters will perform during the prime-time special that will cap the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., and the actors Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington will also have roles to play in the program, the Presidential Inaugural Committee said on Friday, January 15, 2021.
The announcement added yet more stars to “Celebrating America,” an event scheduled for the evening of Jan. 20. This week, Mr. Biden’s inaugural committee unveiled plans for the program, saying the actor Tom Hanks would host while artists like Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, and Demi Lovato would perform.
Officials have said that the 90-minute event will also include remarks from Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
During the piecemeal rollout of inauguration plans, Mr. Biden’s team has said that the program will “showcase the American people’s resilience, heroism and a unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild.” In a news release on Friday, officials specified that the program would include “stories of young people making a difference in their communities.” Ms. Longoria and Ms. Washington, they said, will introduce those segments, as well as musical performances throughout the night.
More performances could still be announced. The prime-time special will be carried live by major networks and streamed on various social media platforms and on steaming services.
The inaugural committee has also outlined its plans for Mr. Biden’s swearing-in ceremony, with Lady Gaga to sing the national anthem and Jennifer Lopez to provide a “musical performance” of her own.
Incoming presidents have often sought to lean on musical artists at their inauguration to help drive home a central message. Mr. Biden’s team has chosen “America United” as the theme of the inauguration, and it’s possible that the artists his team chose will select songs that encapsulate that idea.
The resulting health and safety concerns have forced officials to reimagine and scale down inaugural events. For instance, they have added a “virtual parade across America” and a public art installation on the National Mall. In an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus, there has been no mention of indoor, in-person inaugural balls or galas.