Biden inauguration: Garth Brooks praised for ‘answering the call for unity’ with performance

Isobel Lewis
·3-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Garth Brooks has been praised for “answering the call for unity” and taking part in Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The country musician performed as Biden was sworn in as US president on Wednesday (20 January), treating the socially distanced audience to a rendition of “Amazing Grace”.

Over the years, the singer has been routinely asked about his political beliefs, with many assuming Brooks to be a Trump supporter.

However, the singer largely likes to keep out of partisan politics and despite joking that he “might be the only Republican” at Biden’s inauguration, he did not endorse a candidate in the 2020 election.

Many viewers praised Brooks for performing at the ceremony despite the backlash he could face from conservative country music fans for doing so.

One viewer commented: “Do not underestimate what a big deal it was for @garthbrooks to do this. Knowing full well it could cost him. That it could make him the target of threats and vitriol from some in the country music audience. But he answered the call for unity and brought his very best.”

“Garth Brooks was not a ‘reach across the aisle conservative nod’ today like some people are saying,” another commenter added. “He has been fighting for equality for LGBTQ people, women and pushing the limits in country music long before it was acceptable.”

“Garth Brooks has been a vocal LGBTQ+ ally for decades so there shall be ZERO Garth Brooks Snark today,” one tweet agreed.

Alluding to the backlash against Brooks performing for Biden, another commenter wrote: “The best thing about Garth Brooks performing is knowing how mad they all are about Garth Brooks performing.”

Brooks, 58, has a history of performing for presidents, most recently performing at Obama’s inaugural celebration in 2009.

However, he notably turned down a chance to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, citing a scheduling conflict for his absence.

Over the years, Brooks has stated that he is largely apolitical, explaining to The Washington Post in November: “You walk in with a cowboy hat, and immediately, you’re put in this kind of category that might not be who you are.”

Discussing his decision to perform at Wednesday’s inauguration after being personally invited by Dr Jill Biden, Brooks said that he didn’t see it as a show of support for one particular political party.

“It’s not Republican or Democrat,” he said. “It’s a leader for whom I am the civilian of the greatest country on the planet.

“As long as you have people like the Bidens who are hellbent on making things good… That makes me feel good. Because I want to spend the next 10 years of my life not divided. I'm so tired of being divided.”

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