- 19 Jan 21
"This is not a political statement, this is a statement of unity," Brooks said.
Garth Brooks has been added to the performance schedule for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' swearing-in ceremony tomorrow – joining a line-up that already includes Lady Gaga, who will sing the National Anthem, and Jennifer Lopez.
Brooks previously sang 'We Shall Be Free' at Obama's inauguration in 2009. He was asked to perform for Donald Trump's event in 2017, but reportedly had a prescheduled tour date.
The country icon was asked to perform at tomorrow's inauguration by incoming First Lady Jill Biden, who called him personally.
"This is not a political statement, this is a statement of unity,” Brooks said at a press conference yesterday. "I might be the only Republican at this place, but it's about reaching across and loving one another."
“There’s a common theme in every presidential election,” he added. “New beginnings. New starts. We’re all together in this one, but truly I think the word unity, the word love, the word that we belong to each other. … We can’t just take extreme left and extreme right, because there’s a silent majority in the middle. It’s going to dwarf both of those.”
He also commented on the violent attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters earlier this month:
“It was disturbing. It was sad. Try to remember that we are the human race, so I’m always going to find sunny sides in there. …The fact that we do make choices very much on the spur of the moment. I deal in music. I deal in raw emotion. That is what music is all about, and all that passion, guided, misguided as it is, I think that you saw the human race at a time that, for me as a person, seemed to reflect some other country’s deadline, if that makes any sense. But it’s here, and all I can do is beg and plead for everybody to take that second, that moment, take a breath and think about it. Think about your family. Think about what the mark you’re going to leave on this planet as a human being, and with the children that you raise, and then make your decision.”
In addition to the performances at the swearing-in ceremony, Tom Hanks is set to host a Celebrating America televised special – featuring Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Foo Fighters, Demi Lovato, John Legend and Jon Bon Jovi.