Jay-Z, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and others could provide Barack Obama with the first Hip Hop themed inauguration.
After months of officially and unofficially stumping on the campaign trail, Jay-Z's endorsement of President-elect Barack Obama [click to read] could be rewarded with a performance spot during January's inauguration. Numerous sources, including the New York Daily News and UK tabloid The Sun, report that Obama is in talks with the multi-platinum emcee to grace the stage on January 20, 2009.
The Sun was the first to break the news, when it cited an unnamed source close to British Pop singer Leona Lewis. Initial reports stated Lewis, Jay-Z, Beyonce Knowles and other A-list artists were approached for the event. For her part, Beyonce has told reporters she would be thrilled with the possibility.
"I'm there. I can't wait," Knowles said. "I feel like all of us, we're ready to do whatever we have to do. Whatever they want. If they need me to volunteer, they need me to sing, I'm there, and I'm ready."
During a heated election campaign, artists such as will.i.am, Bun B and Ludacris offered their unconditional support of Obama and got mixed reactions. If true, the performance would be a first in Hip Hop. The closest thing the inaugural stage has seen to a Hip Hop performance was the inclusion of Stevie Wonder and poet Maya Angelou at Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1997.