A Missing Regular: D.C.'s Denyce Graves
Scanning the long list of inaugural concerts, balls, prayer services and, oh yeah, the swearing-in, we keep getting the feeling something's missing. What is it? . . .
Denyce Graves! That's it!
The D.C.-born diva, the premier African American opera star of her generation, is the go-to voice for official state events, delivering the big soaring moments at Gerald Ford's funeral, the National Cathedral 9/11 memorial, even George W. Bush's 2005 inauguration. So is she involved this time?
"No, I'm not at all, and I would looooove to be," she told us. She said she's adored Barack Obama since hearing him speak in Chicago, pre-Senate. "I was mesmerized. I called my best girlfriend, who lives in Switzerland, and said, 'This man could be president some day.' "
But the calls aren't coming in? "No, they're not!" Graves sighed. "I think they've already chosen." For the swearing-in, yes: Aretha Franklin will do the honors. The loyal Dem said she wonders if her Bush inaugural gig knocked her out for this round: "I got so much hate mail. People were furious. For me it was about being an American, and the office itself. This one is personal. . . . I would love to be involved in any way, if not now, then sometime in the administration." Hint. Hint.
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