In what may be a first, in recent memory at least, Spanish-speaking artists are playing an important role in the programming surrounding the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Tonight’s (Jan. 18) United We Serve: A Celebration of the National MLK Day of Service featured a performance by Mexican star Alejandro Fernández, who sang “Decepciones” entirely in Spanish; a greeting, also in Spanish, by Fher Olvera, lead singer of rock band Maná; and a bilingual performance by Chesca. (The event can be replayed in the stream below.)
Their inclusion was, according to organizers, an attempt to reflect the “America United” theme of the inauguration.
“With the help of artists like Alejandro Fernández and Maná, we are commemorating the rich diversity in our country, and ensuring that Spanish-dominant households are able to see themselves reflected in the inaugural activities,” said PIC communications director Pili Tobar in a press release.
“More than political, the voice and power of Maná is about humanity,” said Olvera, who has a long history of supporting voter registration and migrant rights. “Today we thank everyone who voted for a better environment, for justice for migrants in the United States, and the well-being of the entire planet.”
The highlight was Fernández’s mariachi performance from his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico, accompanied by his live band.
Earlier, Puerto Rican Chesca performed a bilingual version of “The Change (El Cambio),” written by Diane Warren, and with Warren at the piano.