Hollywood reclaims lead role at Joe Biden inauguration

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Jennifer Lopez inserted one of her own hits in the American folk classic “This Land is Your Land”. Lady Gaga, in a massive magenta skirt, grabbed a gold-plated microphone from Mike Pence to sing the national anthem. Issa Rae has created an official playlist featuring old-school rappers Salt-N-Pepa.

Donald Trump no longer occupies a central role on the American political scene, the American royalty of show business returned to the nation’s capital on Wednesday to play a leading role in Joe Biden. presidential inauguration.

“Things are so broken and so hostile [now] that artists are like, I want to step up and bring good to things, ”a longtime consultant told Hollywood studios.

This represented a dramatic departure from Mr. Trumpthe oath ceremony four years ago. Vowing he would attract the “world’s biggest celebrities,” the former reality TV star had to rely on acts such as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to swear the sizzle.

Relations between Mr. Trump and the entertainment establishment did not improve over the next four years. With a few exceptions, like his unlikely friendship with Kanye westMr. Trump’s tenure as president has been marked by a rift between Washington and Hollywood, shattering a long history of engagement between the two worlds.

Bruce Springsteen performs at the ‘Celebrating America’ event at the Lincoln Memorial in this still from video © via REUTERS

Musicians like the Rolling Stones, Queen and Rihanna have tried to ban Mr. Trump from playing their songs at his rallies. Top Hollywood executives David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg and stars like Jennifer Aniston poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump political action committee.

Hollywood’s biggest union SAG-Aftra this week threatened to kick Mr. Trump out of the group after rioters loyal to the former president stormed the US Capitol building on January 6, killing five people.

“Donald Trump has attacked the values ​​this union holds most sacred – democracy, truth, respect for our fellow Americans of all races and faiths, and the sanctity of the free press,” said union president Gabrielle Carteris, once Beverly Hills, 90210 member of the cast.

Superstars’ festivities are a decades-old tradition for US presidential inaugurations, dating back to 1941 when Charlie Chaplin and Mickey Rooney performed at a ball for Franklin D Roosevelt.

Frank Sinatra hosted a celebration for Democrat John F. Kennedy in 1961 and crossed the American political divide two decades later to serenade Republican Ronald Reagan. Bob Dylan performed at Bill Clinton’s ceremony in 1993 and Beyoncé took the stage for Barack Obama in 2009.

Due to coronavirus Restrictions, Mr Biden’s celebration on Wednesday night included a 90-minute prime-time television show, rather than an in-person evening.

Tom Hanks hosted the event, which included performances by John Legend, Bruce Springsteen, and Katy Perry, among others. The show was broadcast on five major news networks, in addition to the online broadcast.

Star-studded performances were woven between clips featuring ordinary Americans, such as postal workers.

“Inauguration day is so much more than the swearing-in of our next national leaders,” said Mr. Hanks, standing alone in front of the Capitol building on a circular stage, lights shining behind him leading to the Washington monument. . “This day is about witnessing the permanence of our American ideal.”

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