Biden inauguration set to be star-studded event, compared to Trump's
TORONTO -- Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday in a star-studded inauguration.
According to the official inauguration events schedule, the ceremony will feature former presidents, congressional leaders, entertainers and parades in front of a much smaller, physically-distanced audience amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kicking off the event is pop superstar Lady Gaga, who has a history of activism alongside Biden and campaigned for him during the general election. She will perform the national anthem.
The singer said on Twitter that she is "deeply honoured" to be performing at the event after regularly joining Biden on the campaign trail.
Also taking to the stage will be Jennifer Lopez, who previously campaigned for Biden in the run up to the election. The Presidential Inaugural Committee has yet to provide any details on what to expect from the production, other than saying the star will deliver a “musical performance.”
Country singer Garth Brooks announced on Monday he will also perform at the ceremony. Brooks previously performed during the inaugural celebration of Barack Obama back in 2009, but turned down a chance to play for Donald Trump in 2017, citing a scheduling conflict.
Other participants in the ceremony include a poetry reading from Amanda Gorman, who became the country’s first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, and Andrea Hall, the first African American female firefighter to become captain of the Fire Rescue Department in South Fulton, Ga., who will recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Following the swearing-in ceremony, Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks will host a 90-minute live primetime program called "Celebrating America."
The special will feature a variety of musical guests and high-profile speakers, including Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, John Legend, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kerry Washington, Eva Longoria, Demi Lovato, and Justin Timberlake.
In 2017, Trump secured country singers Lee Greenwood and Toby Keith for his presidential inauguration, as well as rock group 3 Doors Down, The Piano Guys, DJ RaviDrum and The Frontmen of Country.
Elton John, Moby, Andrea Bocelli, Kanye West, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Church, and David Foster were among the many stars who publicly rejected invitations to perform at the event.
Much like Biden, Obama had no trouble drawing celebrities to his inauguration with performances from Beyonce, U2, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen and Garth Brooks, among others in 2009.
According to The Washington Post, Trump is reportedly angry over Biden's star-studded inauguration roster given his own struggle to attract big names four years ago.
Trump previously announced that he would not be attending Biden's inauguration -- an historical break with tradition -- after spending months making baseless allegations of voter fraud. Outgoing U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence will attend in his place.
HOW TO WATCH
CTV News will deliver dedicated TV and online coverage of Biden's inauguration to Canadians.
CTV's Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme will be taking us through CTV NEWS: THE INAUGURATION OF JOSEPH R. BIDEN on Wednesday, with live coverage and special guests. The three-hour special begins at 9 a.m. ET on CTV, CTV News Channel, CTVNews.ca and the CTV News app, and will take viewers through the event as well as the dramatic moments leading up to it.
CTVNews.ca will also feature a dedicated inauguration page and a live blog for Canadians to find all they need to know in one spot.
With files from The Associated Press