Justin Timberlake will unveil a new song called "Better Days" during his performance on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. Timberlake is one of the performers ringing in President-elect Joe Biden's term on Wednesday, in a special television broadcast. This past week on Instagram, he explained that he has a new song just for the occasion, co-written and performed with R&B star Ant Clemons.
"A few months ago, during lockdown, [Ant Clemons] and I wrote a song together called BETTER DAYS," Timberlake explained in the post, adding as an aside: "I actually recorded my final vocals for this song on election night." Timberlake left no doubt that the song's title and its hopeful refrain referred to the political and public health status of the country, though he did not get specific on U.S. politics. Instead, he focused on optimism, sharing clips from the studio where he and Clemons apparently worked on "Better Days" together.
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"This past year brought a lot of frustration, grief, anger — and there were times when it was easy to feel powerless," Timberlake wrote. "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. I'm very honored to announce we will be performing this song on January 20th for the Presidential Inauguration. We have a long way to go to fix, undo, and rebuild this country... but I hope now, despite the past four years, we are on our way."
Timberlake's post got over 1.3 million likes and plenty of excited comments from fans. His Inauguration Day performance was only announced that same day. According to a report by The Huffington Post, He will be part of a TV special called "Celebrating America," hosted by Tom Hanks.
The special will also feature a performance by Demi Lovato and Jon Bon Jovi, with other performers expected to be announced soon. It will air on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC and other news networks on Wednesday to mark the inauguration of Biden. According to a press release on the special, it will "celebrate the beginning of a new national journey toward an America united," and "showcase the American people's resilience, heroism, and a unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild."
"Through different segments and performances, the program will highlight the strength of our democracy, the perseverance of our people, and our ability to come together during trying times and emerge stronger than ever before," the press release went on. "The program will celebrate American heroes who are helping their fellow Americans through this crisis, including frontline workers, health care workers, teachers, citizens giving back, and those who are breaking barriers."
The 90-minute "Celebrating America" special is set to air alongside live coverage of the inauguration itself on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at 8:30 p.m. ET across multiple networks, including ABC, CBS and NBC.