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The 10 Best Inaugural Performances of All Time

From Beyoncé and The Boss to the Godfather of Soul and Queen of Soul, some of the all-time greats have performed at inaugurations

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    The 10 Best Inaugural Performances of All Time
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    US President Barack Obama dances with his wife and First Lady Michelle Obama as Beyonce sings "At Last" during the first Inaugural Ball on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC.

    The list of performers set for President-elect Donald Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration - including country performer Toby Keith and rock band 3 Doors Down - has left some people nostalgic for past celebrations that featured the entertainment world's brightest stars.

    Here's a look at some of the more star-studded inaugural performances.

    1. Beyoncé remains the standard-bearer for inaugural performances. Her rendition of Etta James' "At Last" in 2009 as President Barack Obama swept his wife, Michelle, into his arms capped an inauguration for the ages. 

    Obamas Dance "At Last"Obamas Dance "At Last"

    Watch video of the First Couple sharing a tender moment as Beyonce sings "At Last" during an inaugural ball.
    (Published Friday, Jan. 13, 2017)

    2. Beyoncé makes a double appearance on the list. She followed up her 2009 performance with a 2013 rendition of the national anthem at Obama's second inauguration. Yes, she admitted to lip-synching the performance. No, we do not care. 

    Beyonce anthemBeyonce anthem

    Beyonce anthem
    (Published Friday, Jan. 13, 2017)

    3. Beyoncé wasn't the only performer of note at Obama's 2009 inauguration. Aretha Franklin's spine-tingling performance of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" was the talk of the inauguration day. Well, that and her hat.

    Aretha Franklin Sings "My Country 'Tis of Thee"Aretha Franklin Sings "My Country 'Tis of Thee"

    Aretha Franklin sings "My Country 'Tis of Thee" during the inauguration ceremony.
    (Published Friday, Jan. 13, 2017)

    4. Chuck Berry? Little Richard? Enough said. The two rock and roll pioneers were joined on stage by Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash and a host of other legendary performers at the 1993 inauguration of Bill Clinton. They performed "Reelin' and Rockin," "Good Golly Miss Molly" and a few other hits. 

    5. The Democrats aren't the only ones who know how to throw a party. George W. Bush was "Livin La Vida Loca" in 2001 with a little help from Ricky Martin. Technically speaking Martin didn't perform "Livin La Vida Loca" but rather "Cup of Life." But you can check out Bush dancing, well - moving - to the beat.

    6. You may know Barbra Streisand today as a huge Hillary Clinton supporter. But before Streisand claimed "I'm With Her," she was with Bill, serenading him at the 1993 inaugural with "Evergreen." 

    7. The Beach Boys were one of the few star-studded groups said to be mulling an offer to perform at Trump's inaugural. They have been in the presidential spotlight before. The group sang “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring,” a capella, at President Ronald Reagan's second inaugural in 1985. 

    8. Bob Dylan may be notoriously hard to track down these days if you're trying to present him with a Nobel Prize, but he was on hand in 1993 for the inauguration of Bill Clinton with an acoustic rendition of "Chimes of Freedom."

    9. Barack Obama bestowed Bruce Springsteen with a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. Perhaps it was in part a way for saying thank you for the Boss for performing “The Rising,” complete with choir, at his inaugural in 2009.

    10. James Brown performed at Richard Nixon's inaugural in 1969. Sadly, there appears to be no known video available for this event. But the knowledge alone that this took place makes it worthy of mention.