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Josh Groban is singing at the inaugural prayer service — and many fans are criticizing him

Many on social media commented that they would no longer listen to Groban’s music or buy his records, while others thanked the singer for sharing his talents for the occasion

Josh Groban has prepared a performance for the inaugural prayer service taking place virtually Thursday morning.
Andrew Eccles

Josh Groban has joined the inauguration festivities.

The “You Raise Me Up” singer has prepared a performance for the presidential inaugural prayer service, taking place virtually a day after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.

“A new dawn in a country so divided,” Groban recently wrote on Twitter. “I’m honored to have been asked by @joebiden to sing on the morning of his first event as president. I’ve prepared a performance I’m so excited to share with you.”

Like Garth Brooks’ decision to perform for the Inauguration Day ceremony, Groban’s announcement drew both criticism and praise from fans. Many on social media commented that they would no longer listen to Groban’s music or buy his records, while others thanked the singer for sharing his talents for the occasion.

Groban has remained musically active during the pandemic, performing a number of virtual concerts — including one coming up on Valentine’s Day — and even releasing an album.

“Now is not the time for silence. We need music to connect us,” he told the Deseret News in November 2020, two weeks after Election Day. “I don’t even mean just COVID — we’re so divided. Everybody is so scared, they’re so angry. And it’s such a time of great anxiety that now more than ever I feel grateful that the reaching out that I’m getting from fans really is that it’s providing kind of a universal language at a time when we’re all feeling like we don’t understand each other, and even ourselves.”

Singer Patti LaBelle will also perform during the prayer service, which airs Thursday at 8 a.m. MT on bideninaugural.org/watch. Civil rights activist Bishop William J. Barber II will deliver the homily, with several other faith leaders providing remarks, according to The Hill.