News & Politics

The Inauguration Just Got a Whole Lot More Celeb-Heavy. Here’s Who Is Performing.

Lady Gaga will sing the National Anthem, and Tom Hanks is hosting a TV special.

Tom Hanks. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

Though this inauguration is shaping up to be one of the most anxiety-inducing in American history, the committee is doing its best to proceed with a star-studded event to celebrate the (usually) peaceful transfer of power.

Some performers will join Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on the Capitol steps. Lady Gaga, who campaigned for Biden, will perform the National Anthem, while Jennifer Lopez is slated for a musical performance. New speakers were announced, including fire captain Andrea Hall (she’ll say the pledge of allegiance) and poet Amanda Gorman (she’ll give a reading).

Instead of a traditional Inaugural Ball that night, there will be a live 90-minute special hosted byTom Hanks. It’ll appear on most major networks, and will feature remote performances from Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, and Ant Clemons.

As of today, the inauguration is still expected to proceed as planned on the traditional west front of the Capitol. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser is urging Americans not to come to DC, and for residents to stay away from downtown on the day of the inauguration. Viewers can tune into the ceremony Wednesday at noon EST on any of the major news channels.

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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.