Justin Timberlake & Ant Clemons Usher In ‘Better Days’ On Memphis Streets For ‘Celebrating America’

Justin Timberlake teamed up with singer-songwriter Ant Clemons to perform their new collaboration, 'Better Days,' to usher in a more hopeful era for Americans during the 'Celebrating America' inaugural special.

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Better days are hopefully ahead, which was the message of Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons‘ performance of their new song at the Celebrating America inaugural special on Jan. 20. After Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were officially inaugurated as the President and Vice President of the United States in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday evening, Justin and Ant sang “Better Days” with a live band in Memphis, Tennessee.

Ant Clemons, Justin Timberlake
Ant Clemons and Justin Timberlake perform “Better Days” in downtown Memphis for the Celebrating America inaugural special that aired on Jan. 20, 2021. (Photo Credit: AP)

At one point, Justin, Ant and the band continued the performance on the (empty) downtown streets of Memphis and were joined by gospel singers. It was a beautiful performance that had Twitter raving!

The song was also fitting for the pivot happening in American politics as the country says good-bye to Donald Trump as its commander-in-chief. “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel / Keep your eyes on the road ahead / But if you’re feeling lost in the night / It’s okay to cry / Just as long as you hold your head,” the song begins, before eventually launching into a chorus about how “better’s ahead.”

Before the performance, Justin further explained the meaning behind the song he wrote with Ant, who’s known for his work with Kanye West. “A few months ago @AntClemons and I wrote BETTER DAYS. This song was our way of doing what little we could to encourage everyone to stay hopeful and to keep working towards a better future. I’m honored to announce we’ll be performing it for the Inauguration,” the former *NSYNC member wrote. 

Many other big artists joined the performer lineup for Celebrating America, including John Legend, Demi Lovato, Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and the Foo Fighters. Like Justin and Ant, these performers were all promised to perform at “iconic locations across the country,” per an announcement from the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Even more celebrities have signed on for the historical event: Lin-Manual Miranda volunteered to “recite a classic work,” while Tom Hanks is hosting the TV special.

Biden and Harris were inaugurated on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the very same place where Trump supporters had gathered and stormed the national landmark in an attempt to disrupt Congress as they met to certify Biden’s election win on Jan. 6. Windows were smashed, property was damaged, and many stars took to social media to express their horror over the protest. Understandably, the mood was much more hopeful when Biden and Harris were sworn in to take over Trump and Mike Pence‘s jobs at the very same location two weeks later.

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