The country musician who appears as Biden was sworn in as US President on Wednesday (January 20) and treated the socially distant audience with an interpretation of “Amazing Grace”.
Over the years, the singer has been routinely asked about his political beliefs, with many assuming Brooks to be a Trump supporter.
The singer likes to stay out of partisan politics for the most part, however, and although he joked at Biden’s inauguration that he “could be the only Republican”, he did not endorse a candidate in the 2020 election.
Many viewers praised Brooks for his performance at the ceremony, despite the backlash he has received from conservative country music fans.
One viewer commented, “Don’t underestimate what a big deal it was for @garthbrooks to do this. If he knew exactly, it could cost him. That it could make him the target of threats and vitriol from some in the country music audience. But he responded to the call for unity and did his best. “
“Garth Brooks wasn’t a ‘conservative nod down the aisle’ as some people say today,” added another commenter. “He fought for equality between LGBTQ people and women and pushed the boundaries of country music long before it was acceptable.”
“Garth Brooks has been a vocal LGBTQ + ally for decades, so there will be ZERO Garth Brooks Snark today,” agreed a tweet.
Alluding to the backlash against Brooks performing for Biden, another commentator wrote, “The best thing about Garth Brooks is knowing how crazy they all are when Garth Brooks performs.”
Brooks, 58, has played for President in the past, most recently at Obama’s opening ceremony in 2009.
However, he specifically turned down the opportunity to appear at Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, citing a planning conflict for his absence.
Over the years, Brooks has stated that he is largely apolitical and declared The Washington Post November: “You come in with a cowboy hat and are immediately placed in a category that may not be who you are.”
Brooks spoke of his decision to attend the inauguration on Wednesday at the personal invitation of Dr. Jill Biden said he did not see this as a sign of support for any particular political party.
“It’s not a Republican or a Democrat,” he said. “It is a leader for whom I am the civilian of the greatest country on earth.
“As long as you have people like the Bidens who really want to do well … That makes me feel good. Because I don’t want to spend the next 10 years of my life divided. I’m so tired of being shared “