WASHINGTON — President Obama is drawing an A-list of performers for his inaugural festivities, including a massive ball expected to draw more than 35,000 revelers.
Katy Perry, Smokey Robinson, Usher, Alicia Keys and Brad Paisley are among the stars announced Friday to sing at Obama’s inaugural balls Monday. Also signed up are Marc Anthony, Stevie Wonder, John Legend and the cast of “Glee.”
The concert and the two official inaugural balls are being held at the Washington Convention Center over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend when Obama begins his second term. The performers join Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor, already announced for Obama’s signing ceremony Monday on the West Front of the Capitol.
Other event performers include pop-rap foursome Far East Movement, Grammy-nominated pop-rock trio fun., R&B boy band Mindless Behavior, rapper Nick Cannon and youth gospel choir Soul Children of Chicago.
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Robinson said he’ll be at The Inaugural Ball with his own band, but he isn’t sure yet which songs he’ll sing. Robinson said he’s always happy to perform when the president asks because he’s so proud of the first family.
“I’ve been in the White House many, many, many times for many presidents and this is the first time for me that it’s really felt like when I go to the White House or something like that, it feels like you’re going to your family’s,” Robinson said.
Those who work for Obama will get their own chance to celebrate with the president, with a staff ball planned for the day after the inauguration. That celebration is kept private, but last year was reportedly quite a bash, according to one attendee, with rap star Jay-Z singing a riff on one of his hit songs, “99 problems but George Bush ain’t one,” to the delight of the throngs of young staffers.
More tickets to The Inaugural Ball will be on sale, but not to the general public. They will go to campaign volunteers, community leaders, elected officials and other invitees, as well as donors being asked to contribute up to $250,000 individually or $1 million from corporations to pay for the festivities. Invitees will be sent an email in the next few days with personalized Ticketmaster account information they can use to purchase up to two tickets.