WASHINGTON — Garth Brooks sang a gospel-tinged and beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” at President Joe Biden's inauguration.
The country superstar took off his black cowboy hat and kept his eyes closed for much of the powerful song, performing it a capella and without strain.
He offered a few dazzling smiles as the sun broke through the crowd and asked the audience to sing a verse with him. He said, “Not just the people here, but the people at home, to work as one united.”
After he finished singing, Brooks shook hands with Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and former Vice President Mike Pence. He was even seen hugging former first lady Michelle Obama.
Brooks performed during the inaugural celebration of President Barack Obama in 2009. He turned down a chance to play for President Donald Trump in 2017, citing a scheduling conflict.
Other performers during the inauguration included Grammy winner Lady Gaga, who belted out the national anthem, and Jennifer Lopez, dressed all in white, delivering a moving medley of “This Land is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful.”
The stars were among a slew of glittery celebrities descending on Washington — virtually or in person — to welcome the new administration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, a duo popular in Hollywood, where former President Donald Trump was decidedly not.
Other top-tier performers will be part of “Celebrating America,” a 90-minute, multi-network evening broadcast hosted by Tom Hanks that takes the place of the usual official inaugural balls. “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will contribute a classical recitation, joining musicians like Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake and Bon Jovi. Hosts Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria will be joined by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, chef Jose Andres, labor leader Dolores Huerta and Kim Ng, the first female general manager in MLB history.