• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Garth Brooks shares hugs, sing-along with past presidents at Biden inauguration: 'It's about reaching across and loving one another'

·Editor in Chief, Yahoo Music
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Garth Brooks delivered a unifying, across-the-aisle performance at President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’s inauguration ceremony Wednesday morning, calling on attendees and viewers around the country to join him in a celebratory sing-along of “Amazing Grace.”

After finishing the traditional Christian hymn, which featured minimal accompaniment from the United States Marine Band, he made the rounds — shaking hands with Biden, Harris, and former Vice President Mike Pence, and exchanging warm hugs with Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and George W. Bush, the latter of whom he seemed especially delighted to greet.

Former U.S. President George W. Bush hugs Garth Brooks at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President George W. Bush hugs Garth Brooks at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Brooks solemnly approached the podium on D.C.’s Capitol steps Wednesday wearing an everyman black blazer and blue jeans, respectfully tipping his black cowboy hat in Biden’s direction before removing the hat, and his face mask, to croon “Amazing Grace.” During the hymn’s “God’s praise” line, the country superstar glanced up at the heavens, then proclaimed, “I’m going to ask you to sing this last verse with me — not just the people here, but the people at home, at work — as one, united.”

Brooks has performed for every U.S. president, in some capacity, since Jimmy Carter (with the exception of Ronald Reagan), and he memorably sang his own socially conscious song “We Shall Be Free” at Barack Obama's first presidential inauguration. He was also “lucky enough to be asked” to perform at Donald Trump's 2016 inauguration ceremony, but was unable to appear due to a prior commitment in Cincinnati.

At a virtual press conference Monday, Brooks said of his Biden inauguration performance, “This is not a political statement. This is a statement of unity. This is kind of how I get to serve this country. … I might be the only Republican at this place, but it's about reaching across and loving one another.” Brooks added that he wants to “spend the next 10 years of my life not divided” and has faith that Biden is “hellbent on making things good.”

Other musical acts at the 46th president’s inauguration ceremony were Lady Gaga, who delivered an exuberant rendition of the national anthem, and Jennifer Lopez, who performed a bilingual “This Land Is Your Land”/“America the Beautiful” medley in a symbolic white suffragette pantsuit.

Get live inauguration updates here.

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: