Prior to his performance, Brooks told fans that he has performed for every president since Jimmy Carter, with the exception of Ronald Reagan. He also performed at Barack Obama's inauguration in 2008, and was asked to do so at Donald Trump's inauguration in 2016, but was unable to appear due to a concert he had committed to in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Brooks was also adamant about why he chose to perform at Biden's inauguration. "This is not a political statement, this is statement of unity. This is kind of how I get to serve this country," he told reporters a few days prior. "...This is an honor for me to get to serve... and it's one of the things that, if my family is around, no matter who the president-elect is, it's an honor to be asked."
In addition to Brooks, Lady Gaga sang the national anthem, while Jennifer Lopez also gave a special performance.