Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor are used to performing before thousands, but their audience Monday, on the most national of stages, far exceeded that. The three singers each performed songs that were part of President Barack Obama's second inauguration, and each one of them brought their best for the ceremony.
First up was Taylor, who followed the swearing in of Vice President Joe Biden. As the only musician who was playing his own accompaniment, Taylor was spotted blowing warm air on his hands before strapping on his acoustic guitar for a short, sweet arrangement of "America the Beautiful."
Clarkson was the second singer to perform. She followed the president's inaugural address. You'd think that would be a tough act to follow, but after Clarkson sang "My Country Tis of Thee," even Sen. Charles Schumer (who was leading the cermonies) was moved. He summed it up perfectly and said into the microphone so everyone on the mall could hear, "Wow."
Singer Kelly Clarkson performs "My Country Tis of Thee."
The final vocal performance came from Beyonce. Taking the stage after the benediction from Rev. Luis Leon, Beyonce did her Beyonce thing, belting out a rendition of the national anthem that all future national anthems might just be measured against.
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