With President Trump now officially sworn into Office of the United States on Jan. 20, 2017, it's a day to remember where we've been and where we can go. Through the years, through party lines and bipartisanship, with each Inauguration Day it's a celebration. Among the celebrations throughout the day every four years include musical acts in support of the incoming President. Previous acts include James Brown, The Beach Boys, Linda Ronstadt, Nat King Cole, Michael Jackson, Anita Baker, Barbra Streisand and Bruce Springsteen. But just four years ago, one of America's sweethearts came to sing the praise of the great nation. Yahoo! has ranked Grammy winning singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson at No. 3 for her poise and grace.
Kelly Clarkson, who supported Ron Paul going into the 2012 primaries, also supported Barack Obama and performed a stunning rendition of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" at President Obama's second Inauguration Day reaching controlled soaring notes even in the cold. She built up to the peak with subtle riffs anticipating she would climb to those heights her voice can reach. While other performances in the past have been more of a party, Clarkson has always found class in every setting. She honored her vote for President Obama by going down in history as one of the best performances.
Soon after Kelly Clarkson sang for President Obama, she appeared on the ancestry television program "Who Do You Think You Are?" where she discovered some surprising results. Her mother Jeanne Ann Taylor had begun tracing the genealogy and Clarkson wanted to go back further to know her roots. Taylor had already traced back to the Rose family tree where Isaiah Rose (1942-1916) was the oldest ancestor. Clarkson noticed that he would have been at the right age to be in the Civil War. After finding out he was listed in the 18th Ohio and 63rd Ohio in military records, she dug deeper by traveling to the Ohio Historical Society and found that Rose was mustered out of the first unit but soldiers were still needed. Finding a card with his name spelled differently, it stated that he had been taken prisoner after the Battle of Decatur and so Clarkson took the trip there just outside Atlanta.
At the DeKalb History Center, she met with Timothy Orr of Old Dominion University and he explained the battle was part of the Atlanta Campaign which led to the March to the Sea. Clarkson saw the battlefield map that showed positions of Union and Confederate members with the Confederates coming up behind Union lines. 31 men were taken prisoner including Rose. With ancestry records relevant again, she found Rose in the Andersonville Prisoners of War database and he was exchanged in Sept. 1864 where 45,000 prisoners sat.
Long story short, 13,000 prisoners died from disease in a camp made for only 10,000 and Rose was one that had escaped at some point. Continuing on her journey with some help, she choked up knowing that millions of people were freed and the union remained intact and she would have not been able to perform for the first African-American President had it not been for the Union winning the war.
Isaiah Rose is Kelly Clarkson's third-great-grandfather and went on to serve as a Republican Ohio state senator and a Washington County sheriff prior to. He championed the temperance movement in Ohio with successful legislation that allowed localities to ban the sale of liquor.
Clarkson 2013 Inauguration Day performance was not the first time she has been before Barack Obama. In 2006 on Capitol Hill, she and several other musicians appeared before members of Congress to perform and discuss the issue of piracy. She delivered then Senator Obama of Illinois the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word for his book "Dreams from My Father."