He has performed for every US president since Jimmy Carter - so it would have been remiss of the Biden administration not to issue an invitation to the biggest country star on the planet.
Garth Brooks is a late addition to Biden's inauguration ceremony tomorrow, after the First Lady-in-waiting Jill Biden extended an invitation to him last week. He confirmed his participation during a press conference yesterday and will join Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez as the entertainment at the event.
Brooks, who is a Republican, has performed for every president since Carter's reign in the late 1970s/early 1980s except two - Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. He was asked to play at Trump's inauguration in 2017 but declined due to scheduling conflicts.
“This is a great day in our household. This is not a political statement; this is a statement of unity," he said during the press conference. "I might be the only Republican at this place, but it’s about reaching across and loving one another.”
He added: "There is a common theme in every presidential election: New beginnings, new starts. We’re all together in this one, but truly I think the word unity, the word love, the word that we belong to each other… It is going to take all of us; what I want for all of us to do is listen. We are more divided than ever, that bridge that brings us together, it is reaching across, loving one another, because that is what is going to get us through the most divided times that we have… We can’t just take extreme left and extreme right, because there’s a silent majority in the middle. It’s going to dwarf both of those.
In this case you must rise beyond red and blue, black and white, gay and straight, male and female, look at it from America.”
Tomorrow evening, Tom Hanks will host a televised special 'Celebrating America', which will feature Justin Timberlake, Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, Foo Fighters, John Legend, and Jon Bon Jovi.