Beyonce will sing the National Anthem, Kelly Clarkson will perform “My Country Tis of Thee,” and James Taylor will perform “America the Beautiful” at President Obama’s Jan. 21 swearing-in ceremony at the west side of Capitol.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee also announced today that Richard Blanco will serve as inaugural poet, the first Latino and first gay person selected for such a role. The tradition goes back to Robert Frost, who appeared at President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural in 1961.
Beyonce and James Taylor each performed for Obama at campaign events. Beyonce was selected in 2009 to perform at Obana’s Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, where she sang Etta James’ standard “At Last” as the new president and first lady shared their first dance since taking office.
Clarkson found herself in the midst of political polarization in 2011 when she sent out tweets supportive of GOP candidate Ron Paul, but she later backed off her apparent endorsement and supported Obama in the general election.
Clarkson will sing the same anthem that Aretha Franklin sang — quite memorably — at Obama’s first inaugural, below.