Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hancock, Wonder, Legend, Many Others to Play Inaugural Balls

Dozens of major celebrities will perform on several nationally televised shows, as well as 10 inaugural balls the evening after Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th U.S. president.

The celebration will open Sunday evening on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with a free concert so star-studded it’s hard to choose a headliner.

The free HBO-sponsored concert, We Are One, will feature performances by Herbie Hancock, James Taylor, John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Heather Headley, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Shakira, Will.i.am, and U2.

In addition to guests Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah, Denzel Washington, Jack Black, Steve Carell, Forest Whitaker, Tiger Woods and more.

Beyoncé will also sing for Barack and Michelle Obama’s first dance on inauguration night, The Associated Press reports. Fittingly, she will sing the Etta James classic, At Last.

The singer — who has expressed her desire to be a part of the inauguration since Obama was elected — will also perform at Tuesday night’s Neighborhood Ball.

While inaugural ball tickets are tough to get, one of the 10 balls Tuesday evening will be shown live on ABC television from 8 to 10 p.m. (EST). “The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration” is billed by planners as “the premier event of the inauguration evening.”

Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Faith Hill, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Shakira, Stevie Wonder, Maroon 5 and others yet to be announced will perform live at the ball.

The Neighborhood Ball will take place in a hall at the Washington Convention Center, the venue for four other balls.

For more information on Inauguration events you can visit pic2009.org. For more information on the HBO celebration you can visit their website, hbo.com.

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