Garth Brooks headlined the "America United"-themed inauguration of incoming President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday.
Wearing a black shirt and coat paired with denim jeans, the country star, 58, performed "Amazing Grace" on the West front of the U.S. Capitol building, two weeks after President Donald Trump incited a deadly riot there on Jan. 6.
The country star removed his hat before singing the powerful track a capella. At the end of his performance, he asked the audience to join him for the song's last verse.
"I'm going to ask you to sing this verse with me," he said. "Not only the people here but the people at home, those at work. As one, united."
Brooks was previously asked to perform at Trump's 2016 inauguration but ended up declining due to sold-out concert gigs in Cincinnati that same weekend. He later performed for Trump elsewhere.
On Monday, Brooks confirmed his Inauguration Day booking for Biden's swearing-in ceremony during a Zoom call with reporters, clarifying his non-partisan decision to accept Dr. Jill Biden's invitation to perform.
"This is not a political statement — this is a statement of unity. Excited, nervous, all the good things because this is history. It's an honor to get to serve. This is kind of how I get to serve this country. Our father served as a United States Marine; in the Korean War, we had brothers who served in the Air Force and the Army … this is my chance to get to serve. It's been an honor," he said.
"I've played for every president there is, since Carter, with the exception of Reagan. So I've got to sit and have an audience with these people, including President Trump as well. This is an honor for me to get to serve," Brooks shared. "I got to serve the Clinton Administration with the Concert of the Century, the Bush Administration with Points of Light … it's one of the things that, if my family is around, no matter who the president-elect is, it's an honor to be asked."
The two-time Grammy winner also joked: "I might be the only Republican at this place. But it's reaching across, loving one another because that's what's going to get us through probably the most divided times that we have. I want the divided times to be behind us. I want to be able to differ in opinion and hug each other at the same football game. We don't want people all thinking the same."
Brooks did not perform at Obama's Jan. 20, 2009, inauguration ceremony when Biden was sworn in as vice president but the singer did take part in the We Are the One concert held two days prior at the Lincoln Memorial, where he sang his song "We Shall Be Free," Don McLean's "American Pie," and the Isley Brothers' "Shout."
And in 2019, Brooks received the inaugural George H.W. Bush Points of Light award at the event for which former presidents Bush, Carter, Clinton and Obama served as honorary chairs.
Brooks' wife, Trisha Yearwood, has once participated in inaugural events: She performed during the Presidential Gala for Clinton in January 1997.
On Wednesday, Brooks shared the Inauguration Day billing with Lady Gaga, who sang the national anthem, and Jennifer Lopez, who sang "America the Beautiful" and "This Land Is Your Land."
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