Beyonce’s much-anticipated performance of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the 2013 inauguration of President Barack Obama did not disappoint. In addition to Beyonce, James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson also performed at the president's ceremonial swearing-in.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., chairman of the inaugural committee, introduced the Grammy-winning singer, and Beyonce was seen giving a quick peck on the cheek to the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. Beyonce was backed by the United States Marine Corps Band and stuck to a traditional rendition of the national anthem.
Instead of Super Bowl renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which usually focus on bombast and the singer trying to hit the highest note possible or holding a note for an incredible length of time, Beyonce only added minor flourishes to her rendition of the national anthem. Interestingly, the singer took out her ear piece towards the end of her performance although it was unclear why. Next up for Beyonce is a performance at the biggest sporting event in America, the Super Bowl.
Beyonce was not the only famous musical performer for Obama’s second inauguration and had to follow two other great performances by James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson.
Taylor may seem like the odd man out, being paired with two pop superstars, but the singer-songwriter most known for his hits during the 1970s gave a spirited performance of “America the Beautiful.” Taylor, known for classic hits “Fire and Rain” and “You’ve Got a Friend,” was not accompanied by a band, opting to perform solo with his acoustic guitar. Taylor is an avid Obama supporter, and as ABC anchors noted, he has performed for the first family in the past, including at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by the president in 2011.
Kelly Clarkson performed "America," more commonly known as “My Country, 'Tis of Thee,” during the 2013 inauguration. Clarkson was also backed by the Marine band, helping to enhance her performance. Much like Beyonce, Clarkson’s performance showed off the singer’s range but she kept the grandstanding to a minimum. While Bill Clinton may have stolen the show -- his expression at the very beginning of Clarkson’s performance has since gone viral --- Clarkson’s performance is worth checking out. Her eyes were closed during the performance and Clarkson did say on Twitter, “I was incredibly nervous and cold ha! I just wanna officially thank President Obama for opening for me haha! Just kidding :)”