Tag Archives: Ashley Judd

Celebs Flock to D.C. for Inauguration Festivities

Washington D.C. may not have been as star-studded during this weekend’s inaugural festivities compared to 2009, but many celebrities braved the cold to celebrate and perform for President Obama’s second term celebrations.

Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor and Beyonce serenaded the First family and attendees at the Inauguration on Monday. However, it has been reported Beyonce lip-synced the national anthem with vocals she prerecorded Sunday night.

Here are videos of the performances:

Also spotted at the ceremony was rapper Jay-Z, Katy Perry, John Mayer, Eva Longoria, Stevie Wonder, Cyndi Lauper, former Boston Celtic Bill Russell, Ashley Judd and John Legend.

John Mayer and Katy Perry Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Jay-Z and Beyonce Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Singer Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Brad Paisley, Stevie Wonder, John Legend and Fun were among the performers at the various inaugural balls.

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Celebs Sign On For Inaugural Events

As President Barack Obama’s inaugural weekend quickly approaches, more entertainers are signing up to join the celebrations and events around Washington D.C.

Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor are set to perform during the Inauguration ceremony on the West Front of the Capitol on January 21.

The AP reports that Katy Perry, Smokey Robinson, Usher, Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley and Fun are set to sing at Obama’s inaugural galas Jan. 21 and a children’s concert on Jan. 19. Performers including Marc Anthony, Stevie Wonder, John Legend and the cast of “Glee” have also signed on to perform at various galas that weekend.

City officials estimate a drop in attendance and predict an the crowd at the inaugural ceremony to be somewhere between 600,000 and 800,000 – down from 1.8 million in 2009.

During Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, celebrities flocked to the celebrations. Speakers and performers included Jack Black, Steve Carell, Rosario Dawson, Jamie Foxx, Tom Hanks, Ashley Judd, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah, Laura Linney, George Lopez, Kal Penn, Marisa Tomei, Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Tiger Woods, Master Sgt. Caleb Green, Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi with Bettye Lavette, James Taylor, John Legend, Jennifer Nettle, John Mellencamp, Josh Groban and Heather Headley, Will.i.am with Herbie Hancock and Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Garth Brooks, Shakira, Adam Levine, Stevie Wonder with Usher and Shakira, U2, Pete Seeger, Beyonce and Aretha Franklin.

Beyonce and Jay-Z at the 2009 Inauguration Photo: Reuters

Other celebrities simply attended the ceremony and/or performed at the dozens of galas held around Washington D.C., including Faith Hill, Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, Dustin Hoffman, Magic Johnson, Mohammad Ali, Samuel L. Jackson, Arnold Schwarznegger,Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Sharon Stone, Sting, Elvis Costello, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Spike Lee, Anne Hathaway, Halle Berry, John Cusack, Leonardo DiCaprio, Demi Moore, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper, Melissa Etheridge, Mariah Carey and Robert DeNiro.

Steven Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw at the 2009 Inauguration. Photo: Getty Images

Beyonce famously belted out Etta James’s ‘At Last’ at the Neighborhood Ball. Watch the performances below.

Senator Ben Affleck?

Sen. John Kerry and Affleck Photo credit: Kris Connor/Getty Images

UPDATE: Affleck took to his Facebook page to respond to the rumors surrounding a possible Senate bid:

“I love Massachusetts and our political process, but I am not running for office. Right now it’s a privilege to spend my time working with Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), supporting our veterans, drawing attention to the great many who go hungry in the U.S. everyday and using filmmaking to entertain and foster discussion about issues like our relationship to Iran.

We are about to get a great Secretary of State and there are some phenomenal candidates in Massachusetts for his Senate seat. I look forward to an amazing campaign.”

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Actor Ben Affleck‘s name is one of a handful that is being speculated as a possible candidate for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s seat. Kerry who was nominated by President Obama to be the next Secretary of State on Friday, is  expected to be confirmed, thus opening up a seat.

Affleck -a Cambridge native- has been an ardent supporter of the Democratic Party and most recently hosted a fundraiser for newly-elected Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Affleck appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, where host Bob Schieffer asked him about the rumors of a Senate bid.

“One never knows. I’m not one to get into conjecture,” Affleck said.“I do have a great fondness and admiration for the political process in this country. It’s a big deal for me to come down here and be on your show that I’ve watched so much, but I’m not going to get into speculation about my political future.”

“I like to be involved — right now I’m really happy being involved from the outside in government, advocating for the Congolese, taking this move that I made, ‘Argo,’ and it’s really become a springboard for dialogue about our relationship with Iran, which is, you know, as Hillary Clinton said, the most pressing foreign policy issue today — so I got a lot on my plate,” Affleck said.

Politico reports Affleck was on Capitol Hill this week speaking to the House Armed Services Committee hearing about the security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Affleck is the founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative which is an advocacy group that aids communities in social and economical development initiatives.

In 2001, Affleck told GQ that he’d like to run for office in the future.

“My fantasy is that someday I’m independently wealthy enough that I’m not beholden to anybody, so I can run for Congress on the grounds that everyday people should be in government,” Affleck said.

However, the actor seems to have changed his mind in the December issue of GQ.

“So, no, the answer is: I don’t want to run for office. And I don’t even like working in partisan politics. People get so wound up and so ugly now. I find that doing things that are independent where you can really actually make a difference, where you can affect policy, you can affect change, means more than doing the partisan political thing.”

Affleck said he has been approached to run for office in the past.

“That race was a Senate race. But of course there’s also of course the Senate race in Massachusetts,” Affleck said. “Whenever the few races have come up, when they just start casting around for names to throw in there, mine comes up.”

Affleck is the latest celebrity whose name has been floated as a Senate candidate. Actress Ashley Judd has allegedly been considering a run against Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Sen. Ashley Judd? Possibly

Actress Ashley Judd’s name has been floated as a possible challenger to Sen. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky in 2014.

Judd, a Kentucky native, responded to the rumors in a statement to Us Weekly.

“I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul, and while I’m very honored by the consideration, we have just finished an election, so let’s focus on coming together to keep moving America’s families, and especially our kids, forward,” Judd said.

The actress was a delegate at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and was a strong supporter of President Obama throughout the campaign season.

Sen. McConnell’s campaign manager also responded to the rumors.

“Senator McConnell and his wife are big fans of Ashley Judd’s movies and appreciate her energy, particularly when it comes to getting young people engaged in the political process,” the Senator’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton said.

In an interview (below) at the DNC, Judd doesn’t rule out a run.

“No, I’m not ruling it out and it would be foolish to say that I am,” Judd said. “I honestly don’t know that it’s the best use of me, but I also don’t know the future.”

In the past, Republican celebrities have held more elected offices than Democratic celebrities. Republicans Ronald Reagan, Clint Eastwood, Shirley Temple, Fred Thompson, Sonny Bono and Arnold Schwarzenegger have all held office in one way or another. Sen. Al Franken is the best known Democrat to be elected into office.

Stay tuned…

Hollywood Women Rally for Obama

Some of the biggest female names in Hollywood have come together in a new Obama campaign video to enthuse the female demographic. Among them are Jane Lynch, Eva Longoria, Beyoncé Knowles, Julianne Moore, Julianna Margulies, Olivia Wilde, Gloria Steinem, Jennifer Lopez, Ashley Judd, Sheryl Crow, Cecile Richards, Padma Lakshmi and Kerry Washington

Ashley Judd Stumps for Obama

Actress Ashley Judd recently stumped for Obama at the Women for Obama summit at Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina, reports the Charlotte Observer.

Judd applauded Obama on his accomplishments in his first term.

“I love my president and I have so much excitement and hope about what he’ll continue to do for our country with another term,” Judd said. “He has done a very, very good job for girls, women and families in this country.”

The actress has previously echoed her support for the president and campaigned for him during the 2008 election.

Ashley Judd: “[Obama] has an incredible devotion to our Constitution.”

On Meet the Press’s “Press Pass” , actress Ashley Judd came out in full support for President Obama and said she was “fired up” again for his re-election, on Thursday.

“I think that he is a powerful leader, I think that he is a brilliant man I think that he has an incredible devotion to our Constitution, and that he is now able to flower more as the president I knew he could be,” Judd said.

Judd was a huge supporter for Obama’s 2008 campaign. However she said she was a bit discouraged throughout his first term. Like many in Hollywood, she was reenergized by the  Obama coming out in support of same-sex marriage in early May.

“That moved me to tears,” she said.

Judd discussed the issues that were important to her, including the economy, environment and the government involvement in female reproductive practices. She said Romney’s views on these issues made her not want to support him.