Published On: Thu, Jan 21st, 2021

Celebrating America: Nine best bits from Joe Biden’s star-studded inauguration special | Ents & Arts News


A celebrity-packed primetime TV special – featuring Tom Hanks, Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake and Jon Bon Jovi – has welcomed in America’s new president Joe Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris.

Celebrating America, which aired across the US on multiple channels simultaneously as well as online, ushered in a new era as Donald Trump left office, highlighting the strength of unity in trying times.

With a guest-list including Hollywood royalty, musical legends and pop favourites, Sky News takes a look back at the best bits of the starry show.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Lady Gaga and J Lo perform at inauguration

Bruce Springsteen

“The Boss” opened the night with what he called “a prayer for our country”, singing Land Of Hope And Dreams with his acoustic guitar on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

The 71-year-old joked about the coldness of the night in Washington DC, before belting out the rock number, celebrating new beginnings.

Poignant lyrics include: “Leave behind your sorrows, Let this day be the last, Tomorrow there’ll be sunshine, And all this darkness past.”

Bruce Springsteen. Pic: AP
Image:
Bruce Springsteen joked about the cold weather in Washington. Pic: AP

Tom Hanks

The Oscar-winning star was host for the evening, dressed in a dark suit and hitting a suitably sombre tone as he began proceedings.

Offering sage remarks on the recent “deep divisions and a troubling rancour” in America, the 64-year-old looked forward to Joe Biden’s presidency promising that “the dream of America has no limit.”

But despite his wise words, many viewers were more concerned about Hanks’ welfare than his speech, calling for the star – who battled COVID-19 last year – to “put on a warm coat”.

One witty Twitter-user joked that despite famously playing a ship wreckee Chuck Noland in 2000 film Cast Away, the actor was now facing hyperthermia in the middle of Washington DC.

A chilly-looking Tom Hanks hosts the night's celebrity-packed proceedings. Pic: PA
Image:
A chilly-looking Tom Hanks hosts the night’s celebrity-packed proceedings. Pic: PA

Jon Bon Jovi

Rocker Bon Jovi channelled The Beatles, with an acoustic version of their classic Here Comes The Sun.

The 1969 hit was performed with a violin, guitar and jaunty tambourine at the end of a sunny wooden pier in Miami.

Bon Jovi had already shared his excitement over being asked to perform at the event, tweeting: “I am very honored to be part of the Presidential Inauguration tomorrow alongside so many incredible people.”

Jon Bon Jovi. Pic: AP
Image:
Jon Bon Jovi sang on a balmy Miami pier. Pic: AP

Justin Timberlake

The new dad performed his inauguration tribute with the help of singer-songwriter Ant Clemons, with the pair performing Better Days.

Taking to the street outside Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, they were backed by a socially distanced band and gospel choir.

Despite welcoming his second child with wife Jessica Biel just days ago, a sprightly looking Timberlake led the way through the empty city streets belting out the duet and busting a few moves to boot.

Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons perform in the street. Pic: AP
Image:
Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons perform in the street. Pic: AP

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl dedicated the band’s song – Times Like These – to his mother Virginia Grohl, who was a public school teacher for 35 years.

The singer paid tribute to the profession, saying: “This year our teachers were faced with unprecedented challenges, but through dedication and creativity they faced those challenges head on.”

The moody tune was performed in front of a deep purple backdrop, before rocking up a storm and delivering a mosh-worthy guitar solo and drum finale.

Dave Grohl. Pic: AP
Image:
Dave Grohl rocked out and payed tribute to his mum. Pic: AP

Lin Manuel Miranda

Performing from New York, the Hamilton creator and Mary Poppins star read a poem as his contribution to the show.

Miranda recited the Irish poet Seamus Heaney’s The Cure At Troy, a favourite piece of Mr Biden.

The line “believe in miracles” shone through, with the voice of Mr Biden joining in with the actors for the end of the rendition.

Lin-Manuel Miranda. Pic: AP
Image:
Lin-Manuel Miranda got poetic with a bit of help from Biden. Pic: AP

John Legend

Kicking off acapella in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Legend accompanied himself on the piano to perform Nina Simone’s 1965 classic Feeling Good.

The 43-year-old was backed up by a big band and belted out the Broadway classic.

Presenter Chrissy Teigen – who recently shared her excitement over being followed by the official @POTOS Twitter account – was there to support her husband, with their children Luna and Miles.

Demi Lovato

The 28-year-old performed the Bill Withers hit Lovely Day from a bright Los Angeles studio.

She was backed up by a host of doctors and nurses, who played instruments and danced on a large screen behind her as she sang.

The upbeat number got Mr Biden and his family on their feet in the White House, as they watched it on a TV in front of a roaring fire.

Lovato later tweeted calling it an “inspiring night” she would “never forget”.

Katy Perry

A stately-looking Perry rounded off the evening, performing her 2010 hit Fireworks on the steps of the memorial.

Dressed in a cream floor-length gown, fireworks illuminated the entire sky behind her as she sang.

The new-mum was cheered on by her fiance, actor Orlando Bloom, who ran up to give her a kiss as she finished her song, telling her: “That was amazing”.

Katy Perry. Pic: AP
Image:
Katy Perry gave the Celebrating America show a bit of a bang – with Orlando Bloom cheering her from the sidelines. Pic: AP

The musical evening followed Mr Biden’s inauguration ceremony earlier in the day, with musical contributions led by Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.

Gaga led the way singing the US National Anthem – while wearing a dove brooch the size of an actual dove – and Lopez sang a medley of This Land is Your Land and America the Beautiful in a cream outfit dressed up with diamonds and pearls.





Source link

About the Author

-