Elton John performed at the White House during the Clinton administration in 1998. He declined an invitation to play at the 2017 inauguration of Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.
The event “It would celebrate the unifying and healing power of music, celebrate the life and work of Sir Elton John and honor (…) teachers, nurses, frontline workers, mental health advocates, students, LGBTQ+ advocates and more” , the White House said
Called “A Night When Hope and History Rhyme,” a reference to a poem by Seamus Heaney that President Joe Biden often quotes, the event will take place on the south lawn of the building, where workers set up the stage.
Biden and his wife Jill Biden are expected to say a few words. Workers have been setting up a stage on the White House lawn in preparation for the concert.
Biden emotionally wrote in his 2017 memoir “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose” about singing “Crocodile Rock” to his late son Beau as a child and years later when he was dying of cancer.
“I started singing the lyrics to Beau, softly, so only the two of us could hear it,” Biden wrote. “Beau didn’t open her eyes, however I could see through my own tears that she was smiling.”
James Taylor sang several songs at an event last week celebrating the passage of laws dealing with prescription drug prices, climate change and other issues.