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Hip-hop and pop music crowd D.C. for Obama inauguration

January 19, 2013|By Wesley Lowery

Washington, DC — All eyes will be on Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor when they take the stage at Monday's presidential inauguration.

But they're far from the only major artists partaking in the festivities.

A slew of performing artists will be taking the stage at parties, balls and galas in the nation's capital throughout inauguration weekend.

And not just for the official inauguration events. With nearly every venue in Washington hosting multiple events, inauguration weekend has no shortage of music fixes for those craving a good show but not invited to the president's official parties.

R&B artist Anthony David kicks off the weekend with a performance at a Friday night cocktail hour hosted by the Young and Powerful Group, a D.C.-based networking group.

A visible contributor to the get-out-the-vote efforts in both 2008 and 2012, Will.i.Am hosts the Generation Now inauguration kickoff -- a charity fundraiser for education -- Saturday night. John Legend and Common, both frequent performers on the Obama campaign trail, headline the event along with T-Pain.

Also on Saturday, Moby returns to the U Street Music Hall,where he deejayed an event for the 2009 inauguration.

Meanwhile, Will Downing will perform at the International Ball, hosted by Howard University Radio.

On Sunday, Motown legend Smokey Robinson takes the stage at the Kennedy Center as part of the center's annual concert honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., while across town, Russell Simmons hosts the Hip Hop Inauguration. The $500-per-person event, booked as a celebration of the role hip hop played in mobilizing the vote in November, will be headlined by rapper Meek Mill.

R&B artist Maxwell takes the stage at Monday night's Victory Ball, while a full slate of artists are expected at BET's Inaugural Ball. Jermaine Dupri will DJ a set at the event, at the Smithsonian Museum, while Bell Biv Devoe, Doug E. Fresh, Frederic Yonnet and MC Lyte will all perform.

Stay tuned as Pop and Hiss will have coverage of Anthony David, Generation Now, Russell Simmons and the BET event this weekend.

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Twitter: @WesleyLowery

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