The Biden-Harris inaugural committee confirmed to Variety that Gaga is on board to perform “The Star Spangled Banner” for the swearing-in ceremony, which typically begins around 11:30 a.m. ET on the West front of the U.S. Capitol. Also on deck for the ceremony: Jennifer Lopez will perform; Andrea Hall, a career firefighter, will lead in the Pledge of Allegiance; Amanda Gorman, the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate (and a Los Angeles native), will recite a poem; an invocation will be delivered by Father Leo O’Donovan, and a benediction by Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman, both longtime friends of the Biden family.
Additional artists booked for the Biden-Harris inaugural events have not yet been publicly revealed. The new Democratic ticket is expected to draw a starry lineup of industry supporters to participate and perform for inaugural festivities. In addition to the swearing-in ceremony, a virtual parade and other events are scheduled for live streams on Jan. 20. There’s also a primetime network special that night hosted by Tom Hanks.
A Lady Gaga national anthem is not an untested commodity. She won praise for her rendition at the opening of Super Bowl 50 in 2016 (see video, below).
Gaga has history with President-elect Biden, too. After the 2020 race was called for him, she tweeted, “Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the American people, you just gave the world one of the greatest acts of kindness and bravery humanity has ever seen… Nothing but love for our new Commander in Chief and the 1ST female VP elected to the White House. Also, way to go PA.”
The reference to the Keystone state was a nod to the election-eve appearance Gaga made in Pittsburgh on Nov. 2 at a drive-in campaign rally, where she stated plainly, “Vote for Joe. He’ a good person.” Addressing men, she also called his Republican incumbent opponent Donald Trump “a man who believes his fame gives him the right to grab one of your daughters or sisters or mothers or wives by any part of their bodies.”
Days before her rally appearance, Tim Murtaugh, Trump’s director of communications, tweeted, “Nothing exposes Biden’s disdain for the forgotten working men & women of PA like campaigning with anti-fracking activist Lady Gaga.” In response, Gaga tweeted, “HEY TIM HEY @realDonaldTrump SO HAPPY IM GLAD TO BE LIVING RENT FREE in your HEAD. #BidenHarris.”
Back in October 2017, Biden and Lady Gaga teamed up for a PSA about sexual assault on behalf of Itsonus.org, with Gaga tweeting out a video message from herself and Biden, whom she described as “my buddy.” Biden also tweeted the message, saying at the time, “Honored to work with a woman of great courage, my friend Lady Gaga. With her leadership, and your help, we can change the culture.”
The Biden-Harris inaugural events will reflect Hollywood’s embrace of Democrats in general and Biden in particular. The longtime Democratic senator from Delaware developed strong industry relationships during his eight years as Vice President in the Obama administration.
In January 2017, “America’s Got Talent” alumnus Jackie Evancho performed “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Trump-Pence inauguration.
Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.