WASHINGTON — Beyonce drew a loud cheer from the audience Monday even before her impressive rendition of the national anthem.
The applause started when she took her place with Jay-Z at the Capitol to watch President Barack Obama take the oath for his second term in office. The two stopped to chat with the Rev. Al Sharpton.
James Taylor kicked off the musical performances, strumming his guitar and singing “America the Beautiful.” Kelly Clarkson followed with a different arrangement of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” Then Beyonce was introduced and the crowd again roared its approval.
Beyonce had a definite fan in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who applauded eagerly after she finished singing the national anthem. She offered R&B-esque vocal riffs as she sang on and the crowd seemed to love it, cheering loudly as she finished. Clarkson, too, hit high notes.
Beyonce may have been the star musical attraction, but she had plenty of company from Hollywood at the Capitol on Monday. Katy Perry and John Mayer sat side by side. Singer-songwriter Ke$ha was there, too.
People flocked to the colorful pop star, snapping photos. And Perry did the same, taking shots of “Girls” actress and daughter of news anchor Brian Williams, Allison Williams.
Actress Eva Longoria was seated on the platform outside the Capitol after making an appearance at a Kennedy Center performance Sunday night. Perry sang at the children’s concert the night before.
Former Boston Celtics great Bill Russell was in the crowd, too, along with actor Marlon Wayans.