Beyoncé stunned the nation yesterday (January 21) with her towering rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration ceremony, but Bey’s old White House gig — singing for the President and First Lady’s first dance at the Inauguration Ball — went to her Dreamgirls co-star, Jennifer Hudson. The American Idol alumna serenaded the First Couple with an over-the-top version of Al Green’s eternal “Let’s Stay Together.” Hudson put on an admirable effort to mark the momentous occasion, but the Arkansas soul man’s classic didn’t need JHud’s Idol-style vocal overreach to pack a wallop.
Fun. were on hand to do Grammy-nominated “We Are Young” for the black-tie crowd. And Alicia Keys, who ran through a medley of “New Day” and the title track from her most recent album, Girl on Fire, changed the lyrics to that fiery single to name-drop Barack and Michelle throughout the performance: “Obama’s on fire… Everybody knows that Michelle is his girl / Together they run the world,” she sang.
The presidential parade of pop and rock stars continues tonight with a private performance by Lady Gaga on behalf of the POTUS and his White House staffers. According to the Associated Press, the Mother Monster is taking a detour from her Born This Way Ball to join in the inauguration festivities. Jay-Z played this same event four years ago — just another notch in Obama’s long hip-hop history.
Watch the First Couple slow dance to Hudson’s “Let’s Stay Together” up top, and scroll down to see a snippet of fun.’s “We Are Young,” as well as Keys’ full performance.