Why Garth Brooks' Inauguration Performance Turned Heads

Legendary country artist Garth Brooks was one of several highly acclaimed musicians who performed at President Joe Biden's inauguration as the 46th President of the United States on Jan. 20, 2021. Brooks contributed by singing "Amazing Grace" at the "scaled-down, high-security" ceremony, which earned him a great amount of praise. "Garth Brooks stole the show... yeah i said it," one pleased fan wrote. Another tweeted, "One of my favourite country singers. Just beautiful," following his performance.

Brooks made it a group performance, encouraging those both in attendance and watching at home to sing with him. "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, as one. United," he stated before completing his performance.

The country crooner has made his role in the historic ceremony about being united since he was announced as a performer. "The message they're pushing is unity, and that's right down my alley, man," Brooks said in a press conference shortly before his performance, per Newsweek. "If we're gonna get anywhere, we're gonna get there together." 

Despite his hopeful tone, Brooks' inauguration performance turned a lot of heads. Keep reading to find out why.

Some Garth Brooks fans were not happy he performed at the inauguration

Country music is historically favored by Republicans because it "fits in with the Republican philosophy, which embraces individualism, gun rights, good people and good times," according to pop music historian John Covach, per U.S. News. If you put two and two together, then you can see why Garth Brooks' fans might be less than pleased he performed at the inauguration of a Democratic president.

Many fans took to Twitter to reveal their dismay with the "Dive Bar" singer. In response to Brooks' statement that his performance is "not a political statement," one angry Republican disagreed. "It is a statement of submission. 'I accept your fraud and to hell with the people who made me rich because I already got mine,'" the person slammed. Another person urged people to boycott the singer while a former fan said they "lost all respect" for Brooks.  

Meanwhile, another person called Brooks out for not performing at former President Donald Trump's inauguration as a Republican, and therefore accused Brooks of not wanting unity. While the fan did bring up a considerable point, Brooks has previously cleared the air about why he was not present at Trump's inauguration.

Garth Brooks was unavailable for Donald Trump's presidential inauguration

Garth Brooks joked that he would be "the only Republican at the ceremony" ahead of President Joe Biden's inauguration during a Jan. 18, 2021, press conference, per The Sun. Despite his political affiliation, Brooks was clear that his performance wasn't about politics. "It's not Republican or Democrat. It's a leader for whom I am the civilian of the greatest country on the planet," he stated. "Our job is to work as hard as we can for all of us to have a better future than we had before."

During the conference, he added that he has "played for every president there is since Carter, with the exception of Reagan." However, he forgot to mention he didn't attend former President Donald Trump's inauguration. 

In a 2017 interview with Billboard, Brooks explained why he did not attend Trump's ceremony once and for all. He had sold out a string of back-to-back concerts in Cincinnati, Ohio, and therefore his team added another round of dates that happened to fall on Inauguration Day. Those dates sold out too, so he served his loyal fans. He's simply an in-demand guy. 

Even in 2017, Brooks was preaching unity. "I'll tell you with this whole presidential thing: We got one going out. Pray for him and his family. And for the president going in, pray for him and his family to guide this nation. Let's stay together," Brooks told Billboard. "Love, unity — that's what it's all about."

Garth Brooks' performance also turned heads with his outfit

While Garth Brooks' performance seemed to really disappoint some fans, there were just as many supporting him along the way — especially with his bold outfit. Brooks performed "Amazing Grace" in a casual jeans, black blazer, and cowboy hat combination, and while some argued that his fashion choice was too informal for such an event, others thought his outfit was Brooks simply being himself.

"Garth Brooks been wearing the same outfit since 1995," one viewer wrote. "Garth Brooks has the best outfit out there," another supporter commented. A surprised fan expressed their shock at his casual style. "I'm not gonna lie, I was not expecting garth brooks to walk out there, and definitely not in that outfit," they tweeted.   

Aside from the buzz about his outfit — and some of the bad publicity he received from being present at the inauguration in the first place — some fans were pleased with the "Rodeo" singer's desire for unity. "If Garth brooks singing Amazing grace at the inauguration isn't a show of unity idk what is," a fan wrote. "Honey, Garth Brooks stole the show," another viewer of the event said. "He surely rose to the occasion, with those three words about unity and then hugging all those folks afterwards. Just sweet and connected."