What cannot be disputed is that the celebrities who participated in Biden's inauguration are of a much, much higher caliber than those who participated in Trump's inauguration in 2017.
Who had Biden's back? Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Garth Brooks, Carole King, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons, the Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, John Legend, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Biden's team even managed to fulfill a dream of America's first Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff: reunite the New Radicals, a band with a hit tune from way back in the day (1998) called "You Get What You Give."
That said, Biden's celebrity list is not that interesting. All of the top musicians no longer top the charts, and the movie stars are no longer famous for their movies but rather famous because they are famous.
The message Biden's celebrities communicated as a whole today? That he's going to be a safe president. Expect no excitement or shocks or drama. Indeed, instead of Garth Brooks singing "Amazing Grace" at the close of the inauguration ceremony, Biden should have had Mary J. Blige perform "No More Drama."
But imagine if Biden's response to four years of non-stop Trump drama was to communicate wonder rather than prudence. What would the celebrity list have looked like in this direction? All I can offer is my picture of the other and cooler inauguration.
Trump Played "YMCA" By the Village People for His Exit: Biden has Jidenna perform "Classic Man" for his entrance.
Who Sings the National Anthem in My Alternative Inauguration? Biden, who you playing with? Of course it's Lauryn Hill.
In the Name of Giving Gen X the Best Inaugurational Treat Ever: We have Eddie Murphy singing his forgotten hit tune "Party All the Time." It was written and produced by one of America's top gods, Rick James (he died of every party you can imagine in 2004).
Because She Is: Janelle Monáe, she is looking at you America in my inaugural parade.
Because He Still Is: Luke Skywalker. And because we need the force more than ever.
One of the Saddest Things About Biden's Inauguration Is Its Music Events Did Not Include: The half-woman/half-amazing Missy Elliott. This stunning omission is not happening in my inauguration.
Techno Genius/Minimalist and Ordained Minister: Robert Hood is the event's pastor. After a sermon about love, unity, and healing, he spins three hardcore minimalist tracks.
And Who Are Those Three Empty Chairs For: You failed to guess? Come on. They are for the ghosts of Dawn Wells, MF Doom, and Chadwick Boseman.
How Are You Not Going to Replace Tom Hanks With Mindy Kaling: On an historic day like this for South Asian American women?
Prayers and celebrations in Kamala Harris' ancestral Indian village, Thulasendrapuram, ahead of #inauguration. pic.twitter.com/v4K2UMY3QS
— The Hill (@thehill) January 20, 2021
I Understand Biden Had It in Mind to Connect With Rural Voters Who Love Trump Too Much Somehow: I understand where he is coming from, but instead of Garth Brooks for this doomed effort at reconciliation we have Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus performing "Old Town Road." And did you know Bruce Hornsby is still alive? Yes, he is! And he can do his most popular number, "The Way It Is," for the boomers and also for the deepest of Tupac headz.