Tom Hanks Kicks Off Star-Studded Inauguration Celebration With Empowering Speech

Tom Hanks hosted a 90-minute TV special to mark the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.

Tom Hanks spoke of his country's united "hopes and dreams" for "a more perfect union" in his opening speech at the Celebrating America inauguration special.

The 90-minute programme was broadcast across networks in the US on Wednesday night (Jan 20) after the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

And before the likes of Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, and Demi Lovato performed, Hanks gave a powerful speech calling for peace and union, following four years of "deep divisions and troubling rancour" during Donald Trump's presidency.

The 64-year-old star stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in a fitting tribute to the late former president, Abraham Lincoln, who is the Cast Away actor's third cousin, four times removed. 

He said: “The last few weeks, last few years, we’ve witnessed deep divisions and a troubling rancor in our land. But tonight we ponder the United States of America. The practice of our democracy, the foundations of our republic, the integrity of our constitution, the hope and dreams we all share for a more perfect union.

He added: “Inauguration Day is about much more than the swearing-in of our next national leaders. This day is about witnessing the permanence of our American ideal. Every four years we hear the words that will empower us all on the journey ahead, the message that can unite us, as we begin a new passage from where we are to where we can be. A trek to a common goal, to the promise of our promised land.”

The Boss kicked off the musical entertainment with a powerful solo rendition of 'Land of Hope and Dreams'.

He said: "Good evening, America.

“I’m proud to be here in cold Washington, D.C. tonight." He then offered the song “as a small prayer for our country.”

And Jon Bon Jovi treated viewers to a rendition of The Beatles classic 'Here Comes The Sun', which he performed from Miami.

Demi Lovato appeared via video from Los Angeles with special guests, including 'Hamilton' creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and several frontline workers, to perform 'Lovely Day'.

While John Legend belted out Nina Simone's 'Feeling Good' from a piano placed at the bottom of the Lincoln Memorial steps.

The epic grand finale saw Katy Perry sing her mega-hit 'Firework' in front of the Washington Monument as fireworks lit up the night sky. 

Watch the Celebrating America special here: 

— BANG


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