The biggest stories from the world of music yesterday all involved President Obama’s inauguration. Our nation paused and observed with pride as our 44th president be inaugurated for his second term. This is because that history was accompanied by the singing of 3 very memorable music performances by the likes of Beyonce, who sang “The Star Spangled Banner”, Kelly Clarkson, who sang “My Country Tis Of The”, and James Taylor, who sang “America The Beautiful”. Unfortunately however, Beyonce’s performance is now is hitting its share of controversy when compared to that of Clarkson and Taylor’s. A spokesperson for the U.S. Marine Corp Band told TMZ that Beyonce mouthed the words to a pre-recorded studio version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Clarkson however, went without the support of a backing track when she sang her version of “My country Tis Of The”. The report does go on to hint that we as viewers shouldn’t make too much out of that fact, and ruin our memory of that momentous Martin Luther King Day. The same rep that exposed the backing track went on to say that it is a standard practice for live events of that scale. The reason Beyonce decided to use the track while Clarkson didn’t came down to her personal decision.
The positivity of the day far out weighed whatever lip syncing that may have ocurred. Music royalty descended upon our nation’s capitol in a fashion similar to a very high class LA award show to celebrate our president and the first family. Musical acts like Fun, Stevie Wonder, and Brad Paisley performed at the evening’s inaugural balls and that’s only the beginning of things.
Host/Emcee Nick Cannon also joined first daughters Sasha and Malia Obama at the Washington Convention Center to help them extend the musical celebration with their own star studded concert. The girls’ were joined by Usher, Far East Movement, Mindless Behavior, and Katy Perry. While there perform her hits “Teenage Dream,” “Wide Awake” “Part of Me , and the song that was with the most appropriately titilled for today, “fire Work.”
Other stand out music related happenings that went down yesterday included John Legend, Lynrd Skynard, T-Pain, and Common who celebrated in honor of the commander and chief. In fact, Hip Hop had a pretty dominant presence at this year’s entire inauguration day. In addition to having hard news men like NBC’s Brian WIlliams point out Hip Hop’s President and First Lady, Beyonce and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter , only moments apart from former president Jimmy Cater, key reps from the genre’s past and present gathered for the the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball. It was there that genre leaders MC Lyte, and Doug E Fresh were given lifetime achievement awards. Other honorees included John Legend with a Humanitarian award, and Rapper, 2 Chainz with the “Street Soldier Award”, for his work with the “Respect My Vote!” campaign. It truly was an example of history and music evolution.
President Obama made headlines for singing his version of “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green last year, but last night he decided to leave that duty to Jennifer Hudson as a way for her to followed up her 2008 inaugural performance. In his own unique way, Jamie Foxx also performed a cover. The actor who played Ray Charles in the 2004 bio pic, Ray, got back into character performing Ray Charles’ “I Can’t Stop Loving You” for Vice President Joe Biden’s first dance with his wife Jill. The night was capped off in style as Alicia Keys performed a modified version of her current hit “Girl On Fire ” called, “Obama On Fire”
Lady Gaga is set to perform a Private concert for Obama and crew tonight. We’ll keep you posted if there are any stand out happenings. Cheers!