Garth Brooks Hugged All the Presidents at Biden’s Inauguration, and Twitter Went Crazy
Garth Brooks provided one of the brightest moments during the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday (Jan. 20), delivering a powerful solo version of "Amazing Grace." And while that provoked quite a few reactions online, his actions after his performance made social media explode after the country superstar went around hugging all of the former presidents in attendance and their wives.
The 58-year-old singer took the podium alone after Biden and Harris were both sworn into office, offering up an a cappella rendition of the gospel standard that became even more powerful when he paused to address everyone listening, asking everyone in attendance and watching at home or at work to sing the last verse along with him "as one, united." After the ceremony, before he departed, Brooks gave handshakes to Biden, departing Vice President Mike Pence and Harris, and he appeared to be leaving when he saw some of the other presidents and their wives in attendance.
In the video below, Brooks makes an energetic detour into the crowd, offering hugs to Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton and George W. and Laura Bush in rapid succession before once again heading for the exit.
Twitter users weighed in from all angles after Today posted a clip of the post-performance moment, with many of them delighted at the impromptu display.
There were also some strong reactions from those who felt the moment was inappropriate due to the threat of COVID-19, noting that Brooks was not wearing a mask. He had worn a mask to the event that he removed prior to his performance. A representative for the singer tells Today that Brooks tested negative for COVID-19 three days in a row before his performance, including on Wednesday morning.
Though Brooks received some predictable negative feedback from some of his more conservative fans over his decision to perform at Biden's inauguration, he emphasized on Monday (Jan. 18) when he announced his performance that his presence was not about politics.
"This is not a political statement," he said. "This is a statement of unity."
WATCH: 5 Burning Questions About Garth Brooks' Inauguration Performance
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