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Ricky Martin dancing with George W Bush, and 4 other campest inauguration moments in history

Emma Powys Maurice January 20, 2021
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George W Bush dancing with Ricky Martin (Rick Wilking/AFP/Getty)

Presidential inaugurations are solemn affairs, but once the oaths, prayers and poems are over the ceremonies break through to a star-studded celebration of camp.

While Donald Trump struggled to get any big names on board, most other presidents have been endorsed by an array of A-listers who brought their magic to the White House. Here are our top five gayest moments.

The time Ricky Martin got George W Bush’s hips swaying

Ricky Martin was undoubtedly the biggest name at George W Bush’s 2001 inauguration, and he brought the biggest energy to match.

As the headline act he delivered a spinning, hip-shaking performance of “Cup of Life” that was so compelling the president himself couldn’t resist joining in.

It would be another nine years before Ricky Martin actually came out as gay, but the signs were there for all to see.

The time Barbra Streisand sang her heart out for the Clintons

The gay icon graced Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993 with an absolute belter of a performance, singing “God Bless America”.

The showstopper opened the star-studded inaugural gala and was greeted with a standing ovation. Woe betide all the other performers who had to follow her.

The time Fleetwood Mac reunited on stage

Clinton was endorsed by yet another gay icon when Steve Nicks took the stage, joined by the new First Family shuffling awkwardly alongside her.

Fleetwood Mac’s toe-tapping performance of “Don’t Stop” marked the first time the band had played together in six years.

The time Mariah got inspirational

Hopes were high after Obama’s 2009 win, and Mariah Carey summed up the mood of the evening with a live rendition of “Hero”.

The soulful melody opened Obama’s inauguration ball in true Mariah style, complete with a gem-studded microphone stand for that touch of extra camp.

The time Beyoncé literally descended from heaven

The only person who could come close to Mariah for sheer star quality is, of course, the Queen Bee herself.

Beyoncé has lent her heavenly voice to both of Obama’s inaugurations, but her most iconic performance has got to be “America the Beautiful” in 2009.

The soaring anthem sent chills across the nation and heralded the most diverse presidential administration in history.

Wondering what’s in store for the Biden-Harris inauguration? Here’s a guide to the performers. Spoiler alert: Lady Gaga is set to absolutely bring it.

 

 

Related topics: Barbra Streisand, beyonce, George W Bush, joe biden, Mariah Carey, Ricky Martin, Stevie Nicks

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