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From Dylan to Beyonce: Most Legendary Inauguration Performances

Trump’s inaugural weekend may not go down as a star-studded affair, but past presidents have certainly celebrated with style

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Going back to at least the 1940s, when Mickey Rooney played piano at Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1941 inauguration, marquee stars have clamored to perform at galas and celebrations that commemorate an incoming president and the peaceful transfer of power. This year, Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, Lee Greenwood and 16-year-old Jackie Evancho, among others, will sing at events marking the inauguration of Donald J. Trump. Here, we look back at notable performances, from Linda Ronstadt regaling Jimmy Carter with "Crazy" to Beyoncé singing the National Anthem for Obama, over the decades.

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Aretha Franklin (2009)

In 2009, Aretha Franklin belted "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" at President Obama's inauguration from the Capitol steps, the opposite side end of the national mall from where, 46 years earlier, Martin Luther King Jr. quoted the song in his "I Have a Dream" speech. It was a frigid 28 degrees that day, a factor Franklin later said affected her voice. "Mother Nature was not very kind to me. I'm going to deal with her when I get home. It, by no means, was my standard. I was not happy with it," she later told Larry King, adding, "I was delighted and thrilled to be there. That was the most important thing, not so much the performance, but just to be there and to see this great man go into office – the promise of tomorrow coming to pass."

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James Taylor, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles (2009)

American troubadour James Taylor, an outspoken supporter of Barack Obama's, led the estimated 1.8 million attendees in a sing-a-long of his song "Shower the People" at the president's first swearing-in, with assists from crooner John Legend and country singer Jennifer Nettles. Theirs was just one of slate of all-star performances that day – Usher, Shakira and Stevie Wonder teamed up for a rendition of "Higher Ground," Herbie Hancock, Will.i.am and Sheryl Crow got together to sing "One Love."

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Bruce Springsteen (2009)

Like the preamble to Bill Clinton's first swearing-in, Washington, D.C. hosted an all-star concert ahead of Barack Obama's inauguration, dubbed, "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial." Performers included John Mellencamp, Garth Brooks and show-stopper Beyoncé, but one of the most affecting moments was Bruce Springsteen's rousing, gospel-singer-backed rendition of "The Rising," a song about firefighters who died on 9/11. He played acoustic guitar and sang along with dozens of culturally diverse choristers, dressed in red and white. Video of the performance shows Obama, chin high, taking it all in.

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Kelly Clarkson (2013)

Tacking on to the star power of having Beyoncé sing "The Star-Spangled" banner, Obama also hosted Kelly Clarkson at the public inaugural ceremony ahead of his second term. She belted "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," which had previously been performed by Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin at the 2009 inaugural ceremony. During election season, Clarkson had gotten heat for being a public supporter of Libertarian Ron Paul, but she later confirmed that she cast her vote for Barack Hussein Obama. Due to the controversy surrounding Beyoncé's decision to lip-sync to a pre-recorded track, Clarkson's decision to sing live had the media pitting the talented singers against one another following the ceremony.

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Beyonce (2013)

Beyoncé and her husband Jay Z are quite possibly the two celebrities most associated with President Barack Obama, his campaigns and his two terms as POTUS. During his first inauguration weekend in 2009, she performed "America the Beautiful" and covered Etta James' "At Last" for the First Couple's first inaugural ball. She was a public supporter of Obama's bid for reelection and got the distinct honor of performing the National Anthem after he took his second oath. The pop megastar, however, courted controversy for the reverent performance because she used a pre-recorded track to which she lip-synced at the event. During a press conference prior to her Super Bowl halftime show a month later, she sang the song live for the journalists in the room, explaining that she had decided to not sing live that day because she is a "perfectionist" and did not have a chance to properly rehearse with the orchestra. "I'm very proud of my performance," she added.

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