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August 30, 2014, 2:11 am

Smokey, Usher among inaugural gala stars

When President Barack Obama is inaugurated Monday Jan. 21, some of the brightest stars in the entertainment galaxy are poised to take part in the festivities, which include a "massive" ball expected to draw more than 35,000 revelers.

Smokey Robinson, Usher, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry and Brad Paisley are among the artists recently announced to sing at Obama's inaugural balls on Jan. 21 and a children's concert on Jan. 19. Also slated to entertain are Marc Anthony, Stevie Wonder, John Legend and the cast of "Glee."

Previously announced to perform at Obama's signing ceremony on the West Front of the Capitol are multiple Grammy Award winners Beyonce', who reportedly will deliver the National Anthem; Kelly Clarkson, who will sing "America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)" and James Taylor, who will perform "America the Beautiful."

Other event performers include Nick Cannon, "pop-rap" foursome Far East Movement, Grammy-nominated pop-rock trio fun., R&B "boy band" Mindless Behavior and youth gospel choir Soul Children of Chicago.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Smokey Robinson told The Associated Press that he'll be at The Inaugural Ball with his own band, but he isn't sure which songs he'll sing. Robinson said he's always happy to perform when the president asks because he's so proud of the first family.

"I've been in the White House many, many, many times for many presidents and this is the first time for me that it's really felt like when I go to the White House or something like that, it feels like you're going to your family's," Robinson said. "It feels like you're going home because that's how they treat me and that's how they treat my wife."

The Associated Press states that while Obama has cut the number of inaugural balls lower than any president since Dwight Eisenhower was first sworn into office in 1953, the two celebrations, both held in the Washington Convention Center, will be elaborate. The larger of the events, simply called The Inaugural Ball, is expected to draw more than 35,000 in a reflection of the "quadrennial demand" in Washington to toast the president in person on such an historic day.

Those who can't score any actual face time with the Obamas at the Convention Center can celebrate at several unofficial balls across Washington. Charity group Musicians On Call, which sends performers to play bedside for hospitalized patients, is being headlined by chart-topping singer Ke$ha.    


Contact entertainment reporter Kimberly C. Roberts at (215) 893-5753 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report