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Maskless Garth Brooks hugs former presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton at Biden inauguration ceremony

Brooks performed "Amazing Grace" at Biden's swearing-in ceremony.

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Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks hugs George W. Bush
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Updated: January 21, 2021 - 4:52pm

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Country artist Garth Brooks hugged former U.S. presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama while not wearing a mask after performing "Amazing Grace" at President Joe Biden's swearing-in ceremony. 

Following his performance Wednesday at the ceremony, a maskless Brooks shook hands with Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, former Vice President Mike Pence and Vice President Kamala Harris. In addition to hugging Bush, Clinton and Obama, he embraced former first ladies Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Laura Bush.

Some Twitter users were critical of Brooks for not social distancing given that he was not wearing a mask.

Prior to his performance, Brooks said he did not perform to make a political statement.

"It's a leader for whom I am the civilian of the greatest country on the planet," he said. "Our job is to work as hard as we can for all of us to have a better future than we had before."

Brooks was invited to perform at President Trump's inauguration in 2017 but did not attend due to his tour schedule.

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