UPDATE: First Lady Jill Biden said that The B-52s will no longer perform at the White House State Dinner on Wednesday, and that guests instead will listen to music from the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band and the Army and Air Force Strolling Strings.
The change — from the relentlessly upbeat B-52s to the more sedate instrumental music — was made given the multiple crises in the world, Biden said.
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“While we had initially planned for legendary B-52s to perform their iconic dance and party music, we are now in a time when so many are facing sorrow and pain, so we made a few adjustments to the entertainment portion of the evening,” Jill Biden said.
The dinner will be for Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and partner Jodie Haydon. Biden said that The B-52s will still attend the event.
PREVIOUSLY, Monday, 10:56 a.m. PT: The B-52s will perform at the White House State Dinner on Wednesday for Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and partner Jodie Haydon.
The South Lawn event also will feature guest chef Katie Button.
The White House confirmed a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that The B-52s would perform. The group was formed in 1976 in Athens, GA, taking its name from the Southern slang for the outsized bouffant hairdos then favored by the female band members. Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson and Ricky Wilson were the original members, but guitarist Wilson died in 1985 of AIDS.
The group have had a Las Vegas Residency this year following a farewell tour.
The State Dinner typically includes some featured entertainment. Jon Batiste was chosen for President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden’s first state dinner last year for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte.
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