Sporting a black cowboy hat and black shirt and jacket, Brooks — emphasizing his everyman appeal in blue jeans — walked down the steps of the Capitol building and acknowledged the newly sworn-in President Biden with a tip of his hat. Upon removing it, he began his a cappella performance of the timeless hymn.
During the “to sing God’s praise” line, he cast his eyes skyward and then stopped to address the gathered dignitaries and those watching on TV. “I’m going to ask you to sing this last verse with me. Not just the people here, but the people at home, at work,” Brooks said. “As one, united.”
Upon concluding, he shook hands with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and proceeded to work the dais, acknowledging politicians and even stopping to hug Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.
Garth greets all the Presidents/VPs/spouses then he's gotta go see a man about a horse pic.twitter.com/i5nYv1B89j
— CJ Fogler 6'7" IQ 269 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) January 20, 2021
On Monday — the 12th anniversary of his performance of “We Shall Be Free” at Obama’s inauguration — Brooks announced he’d be appearing at Biden’s ceremony. “This is not a political statement, this is a statement of unity,” he said. “This is kind of how I get to serve this country.”