Tom Hanks to host US Inauguration TV special with performances by Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake and more

Tom Hanks will host a prime-time TV special to air in the US next week, celebrating the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

It’s not known if Hanks, who is currently in Australia filming Baz Lurham’s new Elvis biopic, will travel to the States for the broadcast or dial in virtually from Queensland.

The actor and his wife Rita Wilson returned to the Sunshine State in September, just before production of the film resumed, which had been paused after the couple contracted COVID-19 in March.

The 90-minute Celebrating America special will feature performances by Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Ant Clemons and Jon Bon Jovi, among others.

Timberlake took to Instagram today to reveal he and Clemons had written a song together, called ‘Better Days’, which will be performed on the night.

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“I actually recorded my final vocals for this song on election night,” the singer told fans in the post.

“This song was our way of doing what little we could to encourage everyone to stay hopeful… and keep working towards a better, more equal future.”

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The special is set to be broadcast live across multiple US networks on January 20 as well as live-streamed across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Amazon Prime Video and Microsoft Bing among others.

Earlier this week, Variety exclusively reported that broadcast networks were preparing an inauguration TV special.

Through different segments and performances, the program will highlight the strength of US democracy, the perseverance of the country’s citizens and the ability to come together during trying times and emerge stronger than ever before.

The program will celebrate American heroes who are helping their fellow Americans through this coronavirus crisis, including frontline workers, health care workers, teachers, citizens giving back, and those who are breaking barriers.

President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will also give remarks during the prime-time special, touching on the diversity and talent of America, echoing the inauguration theme of “America United”.

The musical performances will take place throughout the broadcast.

“This inauguration presents a unique opportunity to spotlight the resilience and spirit of an America United,” said Tony Allen, CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

“We have witnessed countless heroes this past year step up to the frontlines and serve their fellow Americans, so we are telling their stories, spreading their collective light, and celebrating the best of our country and its people with this prime-time program.

“Our first priority is safety — so while many of us will be watching safely from our homes, we are creating real moments of connection that highlight a new inclusive American era of leadership that works for and represents all Americans.”

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Hanks also took part in Biden’s inauguration as Vice President in 2009.

The actor read a quote from Abraham Lincoln memorial in Washington DC, during the We Are One event, which opened the 56th inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden.

Joining the celebrations on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that year was Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, Sheryl Crow, Herbie Hancock, Josh Groban and Stevie Wonder among others.

– Reported with Variety