Garth Brooks on why he's performing at Biden’s inauguration

Brooks calls the opportunity "not a political statement, a statement of unity."

January 19, 2021, 9:46 AM

Garth Brooks is performing at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Brooks announced Monday that he will be singing on-site at the swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., alongside previously announced artists including Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.

The country singer -- who agreed to perform after "a very sweet ask" during a phone call with future first lady Jill Biden -- called the opportunity a chance "to serve" and "not a political statement, a statement of unity."

Brooks recalled performing for every president since Jimmy Carter, except for Ronald Reagan, and having to turn down an invite to perform at President Donald Trump's inauguration due to concert date commitments.

He didn't share what he'll sing this week, but he did say it likely won't be "We Shall Be Free," because that's what he sang at President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009 when Biden was sworn in as vice president.

Brooks did tease that he'll likely perform by himself and will do "more of the broken-down, bare-bones stuff."

"I might be the only Republican at this place, but it's about reaching across and loving one another," Brooks reflected, adding that he's "so tired of being divided" and he believes Biden is "hellbent on making things good."

The inauguration ceremony takes place at noon ET on Wednesday, two weeks after rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, resulting in five deaths and extensive damage.

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