Singer Elton John will perform at the White House Friday night, according to a White House statement.
A large tent is being erected on the South Lawn for the event, construction on which began Monday, a White House official told CNN. About 2,000 guests have been invited to attend and the concert has been in the works for several months, the official said.
John performs at the White House for an evening titled “A Night When Hope and History Rhyme”, for a concert in conjunction with A&E Networks and The History Channel. The concert will be broadcast on television on a date to be determined, the official said.
According to the statement, the event will “celebrate the unifying and healing power of music, pay tribute to the life and work of Sir Elton John and honor everyday story makers among the public, including teachers, nurses, front line workers, mental health advocates. , students, LGBTQ+ advocates and more. President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will deliver remarks during the evening. A&E Networks and The History Channel are paying for the event, according to the White House.
A White House official told CNN that John’s team “expressed an interest on his behalf to play in the White House again.” In 1998 John was invited by then President Bill Clinton to host a state dinner for then British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The title of Friday’s event comes from a line in Seamus Heaney’s poem, “The Cure of Troy”. Biden has often cited Heaney as his favorite poet, and the president has used the poem’s “when hope and history rhyme” line many times during his political career, including during his acceptance speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
The last stanza of the poem says:
“It means someone hears
The outcry and the birth cry
Of a new life at its end.
It means once in a lifetime
That justice can arise
And hope and history rhyme.
The connection between Biden and John was revealed in Biden’s 2017 memoir, “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose.” Biden wrote that he used to listen to John’s music with his sons, Beau and Hunter Biden, and years later, when Beau was diagnosed with brain cancer, Biden would sing John’s songs to him. artist in the hospital.
John is due to perform at Nationals Park on Saturday night.