Jennifer Lopez at 2021 inauguration
Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images
Watch Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks & Poet Amanda Gorman Bring Hope & Joy To Biden-Harris Inauguration
Before they each took their oath of office, GRAMMY-winning pop queen Lady Gaga walked down the steps in a billowing red skirt with a black top and gloves and a large gold dove on her shoulder to sing the "Star-Spangled Banner." She delivered the National Anthem with operatic grace and drama into a coordinating gold microphone, serving the soprano richness of her voice to the freezing audience.
The grand, heartfelt performance set the perfect tone for Harris—the first female, first Black and first South Asian Vice President of the U.S.—to take her oath of office.
Following Gaga's performance, GRAMMY-nominated Bronx powerhouse Jennifer Lopez had her turn to shine. She performed "This Land Is Your Land" and "America, The Beautiful," rocking a stunning all-white outfit with a floor-length fuzzy trench coat, sparkling earrings and her signature high, voluminous pony. She added her own special flair to the performance, which began to trend online (on-brand for the singer), by adding a line from her song "Let's Get Loud." Before ending her performance, she shouted, "Una nación bajo Dios, indivisible, con libertad y justicia para todos!" quoting the Pledge of Allegiance proudly in Spanish.
Recording Academy member and longtime GRAMMY Awards Music Director Ricky Minor served as the Music Director for the inauguration, with fellow Academy members Chris Walden and Michael Bearden composing musical arrangements. Both JLo and Gaga were backed by the U.S Marine Band.
Garth Brooks also delivered a touching performance. The country singer took the stage wearing his classic black cowboy hat after Biden took his oath of office and gave his first speech as president. The country has "much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain," Biden said, adding a moment of silence for those tragically lost to COVID-19 afterward.
Brooks followed the solemn moment with a passionate performance of "Amazing Grace" acapella. The singer aimed to bring a feeling of unity amid a pandemic that kept many from celebrating the moment in person, asking people watching—in person and at home—to join him for the powerful last verse.
Los Angeles poet Amanda Gorman, the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate and the youngest inauguration poet ever at 22 years old, closed the show with her impactful words and yellow power suit. In her powerful poem that stole the show, titled "The Hill We Climb," she reminded us, "Victory won't lie in the blade, but in all of the bridges we've built…While democracy can be periodically delayed, it cannot be permanently defeated."