R'n'B-pop diva Beyonce Knowles, "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson and Grammy Award-winning artist James Taylor all gave outstanding performances during the inauguration ceremony of re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama held on January 21 in front of the White House in Washington D.C. The three were all personally handpicked by Mr. Obama to perform the country's most patriotic songs at his inauguration, ushering his second term as President of the United States.
Accompanied by the U.S. Marine Band, Beyonce sang the national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner". She seemed to have some problem with the sound equipment as she took off her inner ear monitor midway into her rendition, but it was not enough to distract the diva from giving an impeccable live performance, even giving some of her own flair to the song towards the end with her trademark R'n'B runts.
For her inauguration stint, Clarkson gave a rousing performance of "My Country Tis of Thee". Her rendition was similarly flawless, belting the song without missing a note, especially the highest ones towards the end. Clarkson was a surprising choice for the ceremony since she's an open supporter of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, but it became quite obvious that she was invited to perform because of her talent and ability and not her affiliation.
In contrast to the two powerful renditions given by Beyonce and Clarkson, Taylor, with just his acoustic guitar, delivered a simple yet beautiful rendition of "America the Beautiful". The folk rock legend proved to be a reliable choice for inauguration performer, who had sung for the president in the White House and at the National Democratic Convention last year.
Beyonce singing the national anthem at Pres. Obama's inauguration:
Kelly Clarkson singing "My Country Tis of Thee" at Pres. Obama's inauguration:
James Taylor singing "America the Beautiful" at Pres. Obama's inauguration: