President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural committee announced a handful of people who will be participating in his swearing-in ceremony.
On Thursday, less than a week before Biden takes the oath of office, the presidential inaugural committee announced that musicians Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez would take part in the inauguration with the former performing the national anthem and the latter partaking in a musical performance.
“We are thrilled to announce an inspired group of dynamic participants for the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies,” Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Tony Allen said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” he added.
Other inauguration participants who were announced include Father Leo O’Donovan, an American Jesuit Catholic priest who previously served as the president of Georgetown University, who will be reading the invocation; Andrea Hall, the president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 3920, who will be reciting the pledge of allegiance; Amanda Gorman, who was named as the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate in the United States by UrbanWord and the Library of Congress in 2017, will do a poetry reading; and Rev. Dr. Silvester Beaman, the pastor of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware, who has had a close relationship with the Biden family for nearly three decades, will be leading the benediction.
On the night of the inauguration, a handful of other Hollywood celebrities, including Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake, will participate in a television special as part of Biden’s Inauguration Day festivities.
Biden’s inauguration, which will take place on Jan. 20, was already set to be different than his predecessors’ as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 384,000 people in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker. Fears about potential violence have also grown in recent days following the siege of the Capitol on Jan. 6, which left at least five dead and about 70 arrested.
Biden has been briefed by officials at the FBI and Secret Service about potential threats, his transition team announced on Wednesday.