Obama inauguration marathon draws top celebrity talent

January 16th, 2009 - 12:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaLos Angeles, Jan 16 (DPA) The list of celebrities appearing in president-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration festivities in Washington keeps getting longer.The Presidential Inauguration Committee Thursday announced a list of more than 20 performers such as Jack Johnson, Sheryl Crow, Marc Anthony and Maroon 5 who will appear at some of the 10 official balls on the evening after the noon-time swearing in.

They are in addition to a newly-announced line up for the Washington DC “neighbourhood ball” - a new party invention by the Obama inauguration planners - that will be “the premier event of inauguration evening” and will feature the president and first lady’s first dance of the night.

A portion of the tickets will be reserved for local residents, who will get to see a world class roster of music stars including Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z, Mary J Blige, Mariah Carey, Faith Hill, Alicia Keys, Shakira and Stevie Wonder.

Many of the same performers will appear in other celebratory events including the We Are One free concert Sunday afternoon at Washington’s the Lincoln Memorial, the formal welcoming event for the president-elect to the city.

They will be joined by Usher, Bruce Springsteen and U2 among others.

On Monday, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of vice president-elect Joe Biden, will host a kids’ inaugural event that will feature young pop phenomenon Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and Bow Wow.

The event will be broadcast live on the Disney cable channel.

A jazz-centred “Celebration of America” at the Kennedy Center Monday is to feature Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Cassandra Wilson and Dianne Reeves.

Other celebrities who are to appear at other events around the capital, many of them unofficial, will include Rihanna, Macy Gray, LL Cool J, Young Jeezy, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Denzel Washington, Shakira, Jon Bon Jovi, Halle Berry and Ashton Kutcher, Vanity Fair reported.

Aretha Franklin, 66, the “Queen of Soul”, is to sing at the official swearing-in ceremony for Barack Obama on Tuesday, on the steps of the US Capitol Building where Congress meets.

Franklin is also to offer a free concert at the Kennedy Center with Nuttin’ But Stringz and the Let Freedom Ring Choir Monday.

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