NEW YORK – Kelly Clarkson is a multiple nominee at next month’s Grammy Awards, but what she’s really excited about is another event where she’ll be joined by Beyonce, Katy Perry, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Mana, Usher and Brad Paisley.
Oh, and the president.
President Obama’s inauguration is shaping up to be an event as star-studded as any red carpet, with dozens of heavy hitters lining up to perform — and the promise of a few key surprises to liven up the weekend.
“I think it’s going to be the coolest thing ever to look back with my grandkids and go: ‘I was a part of that and I’m proud of that. I’m not ashamed of that,’ ” Clarkson said recently.
She once said she was a fan of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, but she said she voted for Obama twice. She’ll perform “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s swearing in ceremony Monday after Obama takes the oath of office.
“We came up with a really cool arrangement for it and I really love the lyrics,” she said.
Beyonce will sing the national anthem, and James Taylor will sing “America the Beautiful” on the West Front of the Capitol on Monday. Both are regular Obama supporters, and celebrities have been a big part of Obama’s strategy to attract voters. Bruce Springsteen is a regular supporter, as is Scarlett Johansson, Jay-Z and dozens of others.
Pop-rock trio fun., which had a wild year with two No. 1 hits, a near-platinum album and six Grammy nominations, will perform for first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia and Jill Biden on Saturday at the Kids’ Inaugural Ball.
Bengals tackle arrested over loaded handgun
ATLANTA – Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andre Smith was free on bond Friday after his arrest on a charge of carrying a loaded gun at Atlanta’s airport.
Smith, 25, of Birmingham, Ala., was arrested around 4:50 p.m. Thursday at a security checkpoint at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. A .38-caliber handgun was found in his carry-on bag, said Atlanta police Sgt. Greg Lyon.
Smith was charged with carrying a weapon in an unauthorized location and was taken to the Clayton County Jail in Jonesboro – about 20 miles south of Atlanta. He posted $3,000 bond Friday, according to court records.
‘Swatting’ hits home of Cruise
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Tom Cruise may be the latest so-called “swatting” victim after police responded to a 911 call of an armed robbery at the actor’s Beverly Hills house on Thursday and found no crime had been committed, Sgt. Renato Moreno said.
Cruise and his family weren’t home when the call was made.
Police are investigating the incident as a false report of an emergency, a practice that has been dubbed “swatting” because it is intended to get multiple officers, including SWAT teams, sent to a home.
Similar hoax calls have involved the homes of Miley Cyrus, Simon Cowell, Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher.
– From news service reports