The Powerful Message Jennifer Lopez Sent During Her Inauguration Performance
Jennifer Lopez brought a celebration of Latino heritage to her performance at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration by speaking in Spanish. The Puerto Rican star, known for hits like “Jenny From The Block”, ended her stirring version of Woody Guthrie’s song “This Land Is Your Land” with a patriotic message before Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in.
As People reported, Lopez declared “Una nación, bajo dios, indivisible, con libertad y justicia para todos,” which translates to “One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all,” a phrase taken from the Pledge of Allegiance. She then sang a line from her own ’90s dance hit “Let’s Get Loud” and finished her performance with a nod to “America the Beautiful.”
Fans quickly flocked to Twitter, sharing their emotional reactions to the performance. One user wrote that they were “crying joyful tears,” and others joked about how the Trump family would have reacted to Lopez speaking Spanish.
Last night the singer tweeted a video of herself posing with some soldiers and wrote, “Thank you for your service and sacrifice. I honor you today and everyday… Tomorrow I sing for you and all Americans.” She previously endorsed Biden for president back in October 2020 and posted an emotional Instagram in response to his win.
Jennifer Lopez sent several messages to Trump with her perfomance
Jennifer Lopez is not just a celebrity but is also often seen as a representative of the U.S. Latino community, and her use of Spanish might seem particularly pointed, given Donald Trump’s history of inflammatory remarks about Latino immigrants.
In 2016, he compared Mexicans to “rapists” (via Huffington Post) while announcing that he was running for president, and later doubled down by insisting that the Mexican government intentionally sent “the bad ones” over the border. His promises to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border became a cornerstone of his campaign. When two of his followers physically attacked a homeless Hispanic man, declaring that they had been “inspired” by Trump, he responded, “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate.”
The decision for Lopez to sing “America The Beautiful” by Woody Guthrie may also have been a subtle dig at Donald Trump. As the New Yorker reported in 2018, the former president’s father, Fred Trump, was Guthrie’s landlord in the ’50s, and the singer hated him. Guthrie was so disgusted by the real estate developer’s racist policies that he wrote a song called “Old Man Trump” criticizing how Fred Trump discriminated against Black renters, although he never recorded it.
J. Lo's outfit sent a powerful message
Donald Trump did not see Jennifer Lopez’s performance in person because he chose not to attend the ceremony, making him the first president to snub his successor’s inauguration since 1869. Instead, the former president left for Florida earlier in the morning, promising his followers (via BBC), “We will be back in some form.”
Lopez didn’t seem particularly bothered by the absence. The singer’s outfit marked the historical significance of the event, as she wore all-white and pearl earrings in a nod to the history of American suffragettes, per Vogue. Kamala Harris and Hillary Clinton both matched her reference by wearing purple, the other official color of American women’s suffrage.
This isn’t the only time female politicians have worn these colors as a striking visual reminder of how women fought for the vote. At the 2019 State of the Union, for example, lawmakers such as Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dressed in white to make a silent statement as they listened to Trump’s remarks.
While J. Lo’s performance was definitely one for the books, she was joined by other world-famous musicians.
Lady Gaga and Garth Brooks joined J. Lo at the inauguration
President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony couldn’t bring out massive crowds, due to COVID-19 restrictions, but it definitely provided star power. Lady Gaga performed the national anthem in a Schiaparelli gown, and tweeted a close-up of her gold brooch to explain its significance. “A dove carrying an olive branch,” she wrote. “May we all make peace with each other.”
The singer also declared on Twitter that singing the national anthem was an “honor.” She described the inauguration as “a ceremony, a transition, a moment of change—between POTUS 45 and 46,” and added that it had “great meaning” for her.
Country star Garth Brooks sang “Amazing Grace” and ignored the backlash from some of his more conservative fans, who called for boycotts and called him “the Liz Cheney of country music,” per Esquire. Despite describing himself as a Republican, Brooks previously performed at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration and said that he supported the Democrat president in a 2011 interview with CNS News, adding “I love him to death.”
Since COVID-19 has ruled out the inaugural ball that would usually happen in the evening, actor Tom Hanks was selected to host a TV special instead, featuring celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, and Jon Bon Jovi. Even if the ceremony looked different than ones in past years, it won’t be one soon forgotten.
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