2/2 © Reuters. United States Democratic Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden conducts a campaign rally at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh 2/2
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will take the stage at U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony in Washington next week along with others in what their transition team said would show an America diverse. The two will perform at the Jan. 20 event for the 46th incoming US president, which will also feature comments from a black Georgia firefighter, a former poet laureate, a Catholic priest, and a pastor from the hometown of Biden, Wilmington, Delaware. Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem and Lopez will give a musical performance. “They represent a clear picture of the great diversity of our great nation,” his team said in a statement Thursday. The presenters reflect the “steadfast vision of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris of a new chapter in our American history in which we are an America united to overcome the deep divisions and challenges facing our people, unify the country, and restore the soul of our nation, “he added. Their roles come as the Democrat takes control of the White House in place of Republican Donald Trump in a downsized event amid the COVID-19 pandemic and growing security concerns after a crowd of Trump supporters attacked the United States Capitol to thwart the legislators’ certification of Biden’s victory. The public will not be present to see the swearing-in on the west front of the Capitol building, now fortified with fences, barriers and thousands of National Guard troops. In announcing the inauguration speakers, Biden’s transition team cited Lady Gaga’s advocacy for LGBTQ rights and health issues, and Lopez’s work to raise awareness of the disproportionate impact of the new coronavirus on Latinos. Other speakers include career firefighter Andrea Hall from Fulton County, Georgia, and 2017 Los Angeles native Amanda Gorman, 2017 National Youth Poet Laureate. Former Georgetown University President Father Leo O’Donovan and Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, both close to the Biden family, will also speak.