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Lin-Manuel Miranda will appear in Joe Biden's primetime inauguration TV special

Hunter Walker and Brittany Shepherd
·3-min read

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden is not throwing away his shot to celebrate his inauguration. While the traditional inaugural balls are not taking place due to the coronavirus pandemic, Biden’s inaugural committee has planned a star-studded primetime special to mark the swearing-in on the evening of Jan. 20. On Sunday, the committee announced additional participants who will appear in the program, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the smash Broadway hit “Hamilton.”

According to the committee, Miranda will “recite a classic work during the program.” Other newly announced participants in the special include NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, chef and philanthropist José Andrés, labor leader Dolores Huerta and Kim Ng, the first woman to serve as general manager of a Major League Baseball team. Tom Hanks was previously announced as host of the “Celebrating America” special along with musical performers including Justin Timberlake, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, John Legend and the Foo Fighters. Actresses Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington will introduce different segments as they did during the Democratic National Convention last August. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will also make remarks during the broadcast.

Chairs are positioned socially distanced from each other as preparations take place for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Chairs are seen physically distanced as preparations take place for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration at the U.S. Capitol. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Biden’s inauguration will take place just two weeks after supporters of President Trump violently attacked the U.S. Capitol in an effort to stop lawmakers from certifying Biden’s victory over the incumbent in last year’s election. Five deaths were tied to the violence, and law enforcement has reported continued threats around the country. As a result, the Secret Service has spearheaded an unprecedented lockdown in the District of Columbia for the inauguration. For the past few days, much of downtown Washington has been designated a Red Zone that is closed to the public, including the National Mall and the Capitol, which is the traditional site of the presidential swearing-in.

Despite the elevated threat level, Biden and his team have stressed that they are confident the inauguration will be secure. Biden still plans to be sworn in on the West front of the Capitol building. That ceremony will feature performances by Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.

Joe Biden inauguration: How to watch with friends and family on Yahoo

The pandemic also caused the cancellation of the traditional inaugural parade. Instead, Biden’s committee plans to stage a “virtual parade” after the inauguration.

With tensions high, the theme of Biden’s inauguration is “America United.” The “Celebrating America” special will be the culmination of the festivities. It is set to air on all of the major broadcast and cable news channels, as well as Biden’s inauguration website, from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET on Jan. 20. Along with the celebrity guests, the program is scheduled to include “everyday Americans who have stepped up in their communities,” including several people who have worked on the pandemic response.

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