500,000 Expected for Lincoln Memorial Concert

HBO kicking off inauguration with all-star lineup

WASHINGTON -- Sunday's star-studded inaugural celebration for Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial is expected to draw about 500,000 people, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty said.

Turnout will be comparable to the city's July 4 fireworks show, he said.

Recording artists Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, will.i.am and Stevie Wonder are scheduled to play the opening celebration, which will be free and open to the public.

Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington will be among those reading historical passages. The invocation will be given by the Rt. Reverend V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal Bishop.

"We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial" apparently will be held at 2 p.m. and will be presented exclusively by HBO at 7 p.m.

The performers are working with the producers and writers of the opening celebration to find music that expresses optimism and hope, according to Michael Stevens, who is co-producing and writing the special.

A large portion of downtown streets will have restricted access Sunday, including a roughly seven-block area stretching north from Constitution Avenue to K Street, and east from 23rd Street to 17th Street. Independence Avenue and a portion of the Rock Creek Parkway also will be closed.

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