A welcoming party celebrating Barack Obama's presidential ceremony has been held on Sunday afternoon, February 18, featuring live appearances from Beyonce Knowles, Bruce Springsteen and other big names. The two-hour show was kicked off by Denzel Washington telling the crowd, "We are inspired by the man we've elected to be the 44th president."
Following Denzel's speech was Bruce's live performance. Accompanied by a full gospel choir who all dressed in red robes, he strummed his guitar and delivered post-9/11 anthem "The Rising" at Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Another star taking the stage at the pre-inaugural gig was Mary J. Blige, who sang Bill Withers' 1972 hit single "Lean on Me". Then, Jon Bon Jovi teamed up with Bettye LaVette on Sam Cooke's civil-rights anthem "A Change Is Gonna Come."
Next performance came from James Taylor, who joined forces with John Legend. The two sang "Shower the People", the track coming off James' 1976 album "In the Pocket". After that, John Mellencamp delivered song "Ain't That America".
Sheryl Crow meanwhile collaborated with jazz musician Herbie Hancock and rapper Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am on Bob Marley's "One Love". Garth Brooks sang his Barack-inspired track "We Shall Be Free" and Usher was seen sharing the stage with Shakira as well as Stevie Wonder on single "Higher Ground".
Nearing the end, U2 performed two of their hit singles "Pride (In the Name of Love)" and "City of Blinding Lights". Bruce once again took the stage, this time with Pete Seeger, singing "This Land Is Your Land". Beyonce then wrapped up the concert with "America the Beautiful" performance.
During the star-studded event, Barack Obama also took the stage thanking people attending the show. "Welcome to Washington, and welcome to this celebration of American renewal," he said. "As I stand here tonight, what gives me the greatest hope . . . is you: Americans of every race and region and station who came here because you believe in what this country can be and because you want to help us get there."
» Continue to view the video.