Kelly Clarkson pledged her allegiance to President Obama when she performed “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” during his second inauguration’s ceremonial swearing-in on Monday (January 21) in Washington, D.C. She belted out the tune on the Capitol Building’s West Front as the POTUS kicked off his second term.
Joined by the United States Marine Band, the singer performed a heartfelt rendition of the patriotic tune. Wearing shades of purple, a color also worn by the President’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, the former “American Idol” dazzled with her version of the track, helping to celebrate Obama taking office for the second time.
After her moving take on the historical song, also simply known as “America,” Obama thanked the singer, telling her what a good job she did, and shaking her hand for her participation in the historic event. She also got a glowing review from New York Sen. Chuck Schumer who said “wow” when he took to the podium to introduce Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco after Clarkson’s performance.
While she had once publicly endorsed Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul , by November Clarkson had become a very vocal “Obama girl,” throwing her support behind the President, even if it meant some political turmoil at home.will.I.am calls inauguration weekend “historic and nostalgic.”
“My boyfriend and I are totally voting for different presidential [candidates]. We’re canceling each other out,” Clarkson told MTV News of her then-boyfriend and now fiancé , Reba McEntire’s stepson Brandon Blackstock. “I don’t hate him for that, and he doesn’t hate me. I’m voting for Barack [Obama] because I love Barack. There have been some things that I’m kind of ‘ugh’ on, but for the most part, I’m an Obama girl. I voted for him last time. And [my boyfriend] votes for Mitt [Romney] for his reasons. You just have to have a respectful environment in order to tolerate other people’s reasons for why they believe the way they believe. We’re a country [in which] you can do that, so yay for us. I love that we live here.”
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Ahead of his re-election, Clarkson shared why she went from backing Paul to stumping for Obama , instead of the eventual Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.
“I’m not really down with Mitt Romney’s ideals for throwing women back to the ’50s,” she said. “I’m for gay rights. I’m for anyone’s rights. I’m for gay rights, heterosexual rights, purple people’s rights.”Fun. get emotional about the inauguration!
Weeks prior to the event, she had been announced as one of the performers at Obama’s second inauguration . Beyoncé was also on hand to perform the national anthem.
MTV News is on the ground in D.C. for Inauguration Weekend bringing you the latest from the presidential events, performances and parties right through the official swearing-in today. And although the election’s over, you can still get involved by heading over to serve.mtv.com.