Garth Brooks To Perform At Joe Biden’s Presidential Inauguration: ‘This Is History’

“This is not a political statement, this is a statement of unity,” Brooks says.


Country Now Staff

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January 18, 2021

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Garth Brooks; Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Garth Brooks will perform at Joe Biden’s Presidential Inauguration on Wednesday, January 20, live from the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The superstar, along with members of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, revealed the news to Country Now and other media during a Zoom press conference on Monday (Jan. 18).

“Earlier this year, the inaugural committee extended an invitation to perform and we are pleased to announce that Mr. Garth Brooks has accepted our invitation,” a spokesperson for the committee shared. “Garth and President-Elect Biden know that there’s nothing we can’t do if we can’t do it together and we have far more in common than divide us.”

The spokesperson went on to deliver a message from the soon-to-be First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden.

“Joe & I are so honored that Garth Brooks has graciously accepted our invitation to perform at the inauguration,” Dr. Jill Biden shared. “Music has the unique ability to bring people together. Through his music and philanthropy, Garth is healing an important voice in this country. As all of you know, Garth has made his career focus loving one another, along with Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, we cannot think of a better trio of performers to join us at this swearing-in. In this inauguration, we are honoring the strength and resilience of the American people, now more than ever we need to come together, put aside our differences and create a more perfect union. This isn’t about political party or ideology but President-Elect Joe Biden and Garth in common is that Unity above all us can get us through these tough times.”

Brooks acknowledged the high honor of performing at the Presidential Inauguration and said he doesn’t take it lightly.

“This is an honor…just excited and I think she said it best, unity, loving one another, that kind of what you spend your time doing and as a singer that’s what you get to sing about. So, this is a great day in our household, this is not a political statement, this is a statement of unity,” Brooks acknowledged. “Excited, nervous, and all the good things because this is history. And it’s an honor to get to serve, this is kind of how I get to serve this country. Our father served as a United States Marine… So, this is my chance to get to serve.” 

When discussing what song or songs he plans to perform at the Inauguration, he said, “You got two or three options in there, as an entertainer you always bring two or three. So, of course, things that are patriotic. We were lucky enough to perform ‘We Shall Be Free’ at the Obama Inauguration, so I don’t think we’ll see that song this year but there are plenty of songs of love and unity that you can choose from, from the greatest writers around the world because we’re all humans. We live within the border of the United States but the truth is, the message that goes out, goes out to all of us around the world.”

Brooks admitted he wasn’t sure what song(s) he was going to perform just yet, but said that fans can expect a “broken down, bare-bones” performance without a band.

“My job is pretty simple. My job is when they point to me, to get to do what I was put down here on this Earth to do and that’s sing music in a celebration in an honorable day in this country where the new president takes over,” he explained. “It’s a beautiful day for all of us in the fact that hope, the future, that’s kind of what we get to focus on and it’s a tribute to say thank you for those people who kind of dedicate their lives to this country. Past presidents, future presidents, can you imagine, you’re going to pretty much just say no to everything else and yes to your country to do this job. The least that I can do is grab my guitar, get up there, and play when they point to me and just consider it the greatest honor that you can have as a musician in the greatest country in the world.”

Brooks previously performed “We Shall Be Free” during Barack Obama’s inaugural event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 2009 alongside James Taylor, Jennifer Nettles, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Sheryl Crow. “We Shall Be Free” is the lead single from Brooks’ 1992 album, The Chase. The song also appears on The HitsThe Limited SeriesDouble Live and The Ultimate Hits

Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez are also set to perform at the Biden/Harris inauguration, which will take place on Wednesday, January 20.

The country superstar will return to Washington, D.C. in May 2021 to be recognized as one of the Kennedy Center Honors recipients.

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