Hosted by Tom Hanks, the televised 90-minute special featured remarks from President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as performances by Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons and Jon Bon Jovi, among other stars. The event began at 8:30 PM ET and ended with a fireworks display at 10 PM.
Viewers were able to watch the special live on major news networks, including ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and MSNBC, or watch via YouTube, Twitch, Twitter or Facebook. After the live broadcast, the special was made available to watch on Amazon Prime Video, Fox’s NewsNOW and AT&T U-verse.
Due to health and safety concerns surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the televised special replaced the traditional inaugural balls that typically follow United States presidential inaugurations.
“This inauguration presents a unique opportunity to spotlight the resilience and spirit of an America united,” said Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Tony Allen in a statement to Billboard. “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.”
Watch a stream of the entire event and check out our recap, below:
8:30 PM: Host Tom Hanks kicks off the special.
8:45 PM: American essential workers are celebrated as the stories behind their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic are aired.
8:46 PM: Jon Bon Jovi performs “Here Comes the Sun” with a stripped back band outside near a body of water.
8:54 PM: Hanks introduces Biden as the U.S. Army Herald Trumpet Band plays. Biden explains that he wanted this inauguration day to focus on the citizens of the United States.
8:59 PM: Timberlake and Clemons perform “Better Days” from Memphis, Tennessee.
9:05 PM: Eva Longoria introduces Grammy-nominated duo Black Pumas.
9:10 PM: Foo Fighters perform “Times Like These” in honor of teachers everywhere.
9:15 PM: Actress Kerry Washington introduces a cast of Broadway performers who perform “525,600 Minutes” from Rent.
9:30 PM: Harris speaks to the American people and asks them to unite and believe in the country.
9:33 PM: John Legend performs “Feeling Good.”
9:40 PM: Lovato performs “Lovely Day” while the Biden family watches and dances from the Oval Office.
10:00 PM: Katy Perry closes out the evening with “Firework” while the Biden and Harris families watch.