Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will headline President-elect Joe Biden’s and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ swearing-in ceremony, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced on Thursday.
Gaga, who has a history of activism alongside Biden and campaigned for him during the general election, will perform the national anthem. There will be a musical performance by Lopez, who has used her voice during the coronavirus pandemic to speak out against its disproportionate toll on minority communities.
Other participants include Amanda Gorman, the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate who will deliver the poetry reading, and Andrea Hall, the president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 3920 in Fulton County, Georgia, who will deliver the Pledge of Allegiance. Hall is also the first Black woman in the department’s history to be promoted to the rank of Fire Captain, per the inauguration committee. IAFF was the first union to back Biden in the primary when he first launched his campaign.
Father Leo J. O’Donovan, a long-time friend of the Bidens and a former Georgetown University president, will deliver the invocation. Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman, Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, will give the 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,” inaugural committee CEO Tony Allen said of the participants in a statement. “They are also committed to the President-elect and the Vice-President-elect’s steadfast vision of a new chapter in our American story in which we are an America united in overcoming the deep divisions and challenges facing our people, unifying the country, and restoring the soul of our nation.”
A Presidential Inaugural Committee official has told CNN it is producing a celebrity-filled prime-time special for the night of the largely virtual inauguration in lieu of the traditional celebrations. The special will be hosted by Tom Hanks and is set to air live on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET on January 20. It will also feature performances from Jon Bon Jovi, who campaigned with Biden in Pennsylvania, Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons.