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:: Spotlight :: We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

In a huge celebration of the Barack Obama Inauguration, the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration, was staged at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington two days prior to the actual Inauguration..

The event contained a who's who of the showbiz world, with musical performances from artists such as Bruce Springsteen, U2, Jon Bon Jovi, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Bettye LaVette, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Shakira, James Taylor, Garth Brooks and Stevie Wonder.

Among those reading historical passages were Jack Black, Steve Carell, Rosario Dawson, Jamie Foxx, Tom Hanks, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah, Laura Linney and Denzel Washington.

Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Sheryl Crow set the tone, while a who‘s who of African-American stars hammered away at the theme that change had indeed come. They were all there: Stevie Wonder, partnered by Shakira and Usher, revisited his peak of the early 1970s for 'Higher Ground’, a testimony to the potential for change. Jon Bon Jovi sang a duet with Bettye LaVette on Sam Cooke‘s A Change Is Gonna Come’. The song, a storming piece of 60s R&B, was adopted by the civil rights movement in the 60s.

Celebrities took the stage to offer readings or introduce clips of former presidential inaugurations, from Lincoln to Eisenhower. The Obama family looked fabulous and Malia Obama, the older of the two girls could be seen snapping pictures with her digital camera throughout. Beyonce sang the finale, “America”. The President met all the performers and readers afterwards and there were several poignant moments, especially when he embraced an exultant Stevie Wonder.

Here are pictures from the momentous event.

looking down from the Lincoln Memorial “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen
U2 Bruce Springsteen & Beyonce
Jon Bon Jovi Jack Black
Beyonce Jamie Foxx & Samuel L Jackson
four legends - Jon Bon Jovi, The Edge, Bruce Springsteen & Bono
Jack Black (left) and friends The Edge, Sheryl Crow & Bono
Queen Latifah, Bono, Beyonce & Larry Mullen Sheryl Crow, Queen Latifah & Jon Bon Jovi
Bruce Springsteen on stage
The Edge & Bono in full flight Bono with Adam Clayton
Stevie Wonder Stevie Wonder & friends
Steve Carell Mary J Blige
Sheryl Crow Marisa Tomei
Denzel Washington Josh Groban
John Legend James Taylor
Rosario Dawson Shakira & Bono
Beyonce performs the finale
Barack and Michelle Obama The Vice-President & President with their wives
the Obama family Barack Obama under the Lincoln statue
Barack Obama with Sheryl Crow Barack Obama with Jon Bon Jovi
the “two Bosses” Barack Obama with Bono & The Edge
Barack Obama The Obamas meet Jack Black & Laura Linney
Barack Obama embraces Stevie Wonder