President Barack Obama is drawing an A-list of performers for his inaugural festivities, including a massive gala expected to draw more than 35,000 revelers. Katy Perry, Smokey Robinson, Usher, Alicia Keys and Brad Paisley are among the stars planning to sing at Obama’s inaugural galas Jan. 21 and a children’s concert on Jan. 19. Also signed up are Marc Anthony, Stevie Wonder, John Legend and the cast of “Glee.”
The concert and the two official inaugural balls are being held at the Washington Convention Center over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, when Obama begins his second term. The performers join top talent already announced for Obama’s signing ceremony Jan. 21 on the west front of the Capitol, including Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor.
Other event performers include pop-rap foursome Far East Movement, R&B boy band Mindless Behavior, rapper Nick Cannon and youth gospel choir Soul Children of Chicago. Inaugural organizers are not saying yet which performances will be at each of the convention center events.
While Obama has reduced the number of inaugural balls lower than any president since Dwight Eisenhower was first sworn into office in 1953, the two celebrations will be elaborate. The larger of the events, simply called, The Inaugural Ball, is expected to draw more than 35,000, a reflection of the quadrennial demand in Washington to toast the president in person on such a historic day.
The Inaugural Ball is being held across all 700,000 square feet of the Washington Convention Center’s five exhibit halls, which four years ago held six separate balls.
Read more: Billboard