A supremely confident Lady Gaga has belted out the national anthem at US President Joe Biden’s inauguration, bringing her typical passion and flamboyance.
The Grammy winner wore a billowing red sculpted skirt as she sang into a golden microphone, delivering a powerful rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.
Gaga also wore a large golden dove pinned to her dress, symbolising peace.
“A dove carrying an olive branch. May we all make peace with each other,” she wrote on Twitter.
She was followed at Wednesday’s ceremony by Jennifer Lopez, dressed all in white, with a moving medley of This Land Is Your Land and America The Beautiful.
J Lo even broke into spoken Spanish towards the end of her performance and sung a line from her own iconic song Let’s Get Loud.
Country star Garth Brooks, doffing his black cowboy hat, sang a gospel-tinged, soulful a capella rendition of Amazing Grace, his eyes closed for much of the song.
Leaving the podium, he donned his cowboy hat again, shook hands and hugged former president Barack Obama.
The three stars were among a slew of glittery celebrities descending on Washington – virtually or in person – to welcome the new administration of Biden and Kamala Harris, a duo popular in Hollywood.
But Brooks was careful to call his decision to perform on Wednesday non-political, and in the spirit of unity.
Other performers will be part of Celebrating America, a 90-minute evening broadcast hosted by Tom Hanks, taking the place of the usual official inaugural balls.
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will contribute a classical recitation, joining musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Katy Perry, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake and Bon Jovi.
The inaugural committee has made sure to blend this high-powered list with ordinary Americans and inspiring stories.
Segments will include tributes to a UPS driver, a teacher and Sandra Lindsay, the first in New York to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial.