WASHINGTON (Reuters) - R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles has been chosen to sing the national anthem at President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony on January 21, the presidential inauguration committee said Wednesday.
The performer has been a regular guest at the White House. With her husband, rapper Jay-Z, the chart-topper has been a major donor to Obama’s campaign.
Four years ago, Knowles serenaded the first couple with Etta James’ “At Last” at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball. This time around she gets the headlining anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” at the inauguration ceremony.
Knowles’ presidential performance likely won’t even be her most-watched moment of the winter. She is scheduled to sing at the February 3 Super Bowl before what is consistently the largest U.S. television audience of the year.
Country star Kelly Clarkson is scheduled to give a rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.”
Describing herself as a “Republican at heart,” Clarkson made headlines by voicing support for Obama in October, just before the November 6 presidential election.
James Taylor, who performed at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, in August, will sing “America the Beautiful.”
In 2009, Aretha Franklin sang the national anthem at the inauguration, but it was the soul queen’s hat with its giant, rhinestoned bow that left one of the most lasting impressions of the ceremony.
Reporting by Samuel P. Jacobs; Editing by Doina Chiacu