Timberlake revealed on Wednesday that he and Clemons wrote a new song, "Better Days," several months ago, describing it as their way of "doing what little we could to encourage everyone to stay hopeful and to keep working towards a better future."
The special, which the PIC says is the "capstone" to the day's events, was developed in part because the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many traditional inauguration events — such as live concerts, the inaugural parade and the raft of galas and balls — to be canceled. As a result, the organization is turning to less traditional ways to engage with Americans for the inauguration, including a public art display in Washington, and a memorial to lives lost due to the disease.
“This inauguration presents a unique opportunity to spotlight the resilience and spirit of an America united," said PIC CEO Tony Allen in a statement. "We have witnessed countless heroes this past year step up to the frontlines and serve their fellow Americans, so we are telling their stories, spreading their collective light, and celebrating the best of our country and its people with this prime-time program. Our first priority is safety — so while many of us will be watching safely from our homes, we are creating real moments of connection that highlight a new inclusive American era of leadership that works for and represents all Americans.”
The emerging list of superstars performers for the inauguration special already stands in stark contrast to the modest line-up for one-term president Donald Trump's 2012 pre-COVID inauguration. Though the former reality star boasted that he would have "the biggest celebrities in the world" marking his coronation, the final line-up was a mix of country stars, cover bands and mostly unknown acts, including Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, The Piano Guys, Lee Greenwood, DJ RaviDrum, The Frontmen of Country, Big & Rich, Cowboy Troy, Tony Orlando, America's Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho singing the National Anthem, standards cover act Tim Rushlow & His Big Band, Sam and Dave's Sam Moore, the Rockettes, The Silhouettes, Circus 1903, Cache Olson and Pelican 212 performing at a variety of inaugural balls.
Check out the announcements below.