The stars are aligning for “Celebrating America,” an inauguration special honoring the incoming administration that’s set to air on Wednesday, Jan. 20 on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC and across various social media channels, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced in a press release on Wednesday.
The 90-minute special will “celebrate the beginning of a new national journey toward an America united” and “showcase the American people’s resilience, heroism, and unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild.”
Hanks will serve as master of ceremonies alongside artists who “represent the rich diversity and extensive talent America offers,” including Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Ant Clemons and Jon Bon Jovi, according to the release. Additional guests will be announced at a later date.
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will also deliver remarks during the televised event.
“Through different segments and performances, the program will highlight the strength of our democracy, the perseverance of our people, and our ability to come together during trying times and emerge stronger than ever before,” the press release reads. “The program will celebrate American heroes who are helping their fellow Americans through this crisis, including frontline workers, health care workers, teachers, citizens giving back, and those who are breaking barriers.”
Timberlake revealed he’ll be performing his recently released track “Better Days” with Clemons, describing the invitation to appear at the special as an “honor” during a “Today” interview on Wednesday.
Lovato, meanwhile, announced the news on Instagram, writing that she was “left speechless when I was asked to perform.” The pop star didn’t reveal what song she selected for the stage, but perhaps she’ll debut music inspired by the Capitol riots, which she somewhat controversially teased last week.
As for Hanks, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March along with wife Rita Wilson, he’s been one of the most visible and outspoken celebrities urging fans to take the coronavirus seriously.
“There’s really only three things we can do in order to get to tomorrow: Wear a mask, social distance, wash our hands,” Hanks said at a press conference in June. “Those things are so simple, so easy; if anybody cannot find it in themselves to practice those three very basic things — I just think, shame on you,” he added.
The star-studded lineup, of course, starkly contrasts with the dearth of A-listers at Trump’s own inauguration celebration in 2016. The inaugural committee at the time struggled to find performers after everyone from Elton John to Celine Dion reportedly turned them down.
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