On This Day: Garth Brooks Plays ‘We Shall Be Free’ at Barack Obama Inaugural Event in 2009

by Halle Ames

On this date in 2009, Country artist Garth Brooks performed in Washington D.C. for former President Barack Obama’s inaugural event. 

Garth Brooks and Barack Obama aren’t just business partners. Brooks reveals that he has a deep admiration for the former President, saying he “loves him to death.”

“I love him to death, and I fully support him, and I just wish him well because it’s got to be hell in that office.”

Garth Brooks also said playing at the event was an honor. However, he said he would be praying for President Bush as well as President Obama. 

“This whole presidential thing, we’ve 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,” Brooks said. “Love and unity, that’s what it’s all about. In the immortal words of Martin Luther King, the most durable power that we’ve known is love. It will always be that way.”

At the inauguration, Garth Brooks played classics like Don McLean’s 1972 hit “American Pie,” “Shout” but the Isley Brothers, and Brooks’s own song, “We Shall Be Free.”

Other artists that joined Garth Brooks in the Inaugural event were Beyoncé, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder, Usher, and many more. 

In March of 2011, Brooks also defended President Obama when CNSNews asked Brooks if his Presidential pick lived up to his expectation. 

“Yeah, I think what President Obama is finding out is all that we want to do, the system kind of doesn’t allow the most powerful guy in the world to kind of do his job, and I’m sure nobody’s more frustrated than him to complete those promises that he did, and I think he’s trying his heart out.” 

Garth Brooks Leaves it “Up to Karma”

In addition, when fans asked Garth Brooks if he will be playing at President Trump’s inauguration in January of 2017, Brooks explained that he has scheduling issues and that it wasn’t a political decision.  

“We left it up to karma,” Brooks said. “We said if Cincinnati goes two weekends instead of one, then, of course, we’re out. Sure enough, Cincinnati did five shows, two weekends, and backed us up into there. So we got knocked out of it.”

In 2010, President Obama also awarded Garth Brooks the Grammy on the Hill Award for “his efforts in advancing the rights of music makers.” 

I bet that looks nice in the country singer’s massive trophy case!