Top Stars Sign up for Obama Gig

BEYONCÉ, U2 and Bruce Springsteen are among the musicians who have signed up to perform at an inaugural celebration for US President-elect Barack Obama.

Stevie Wonder, Usher, Mary J Blige and Sheryl Crow are also scheduled to perform at the event on January 18 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

Historical passages will also be read by singer Queen Latifah and actors Jamie Foxx and Denzel Washington.
 Obama, who will be sworn in on January 20, is expected to attend.

The executive producer of the show, George Stevens Jr, said he was taken by surprise by the eagerness of stars to perform once he was given the go-ahead by the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

He said he had tried to reach out to a diversity of artists for the concert which would focus on national unification.

“The list of stars is impressive, but this is not a showbiz, glitzy occasion,” he said.

The artists have been asked to perform songs suited to the occasion, rather than their own hits, including A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke. 

Singers Sting and Elvis Costello are heading another all-star line-up at a charity concert marking Obama’s inauguration on January  20 at Washington’s Harman Center of the Arts. — BBC Online.