News: Jay-Z Packs Pre-Inauguration Day Concert

Tuesday, Jan 20, 2009 11:00AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Hip-Hop mogul Jay-Z helped ignite his sold-out "Concert on the Eve of Change" last night (January 19) with many celebrity guests and performances in Washington, DC.

The rapper kept his concert buzzing with surprise guests.

Young Jeezy arrived onstage later for "My President." Later, one of Jay's most heralded partners in crime, Mary J. Blige, danced out for the tireless "Can't Knock the Hustle." Jay's other surprise along with Memphis Bleek, put the show in official he-shut-it-down-again territory: Beyonce. (MTV)

Jay attracted mega superstars and paid homage to President-Elect Barack Obama throughout the night.

The audience included Samuel L. Jackson, Usher, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Eric Benet, Bun B, record executive Lyor Cohen and D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty as they often rhymed along as Jay-Z delved deep into his catalog, spanning Reasonable Doubt to American Gangster.

Several times, he urged the crowd to "make some noise for the 44th president" or worked Obama's name into a song or made up a new verse about him. After the show-closing encore, he declared: "This is a time in our life for great hope. A lot of people bled to give us this opportunity. ... We look forward to a better tomorrow, a better four years, a better eight years." (USA Today)

Tickets for the highly-anticipated event sold out in a matter of minutes earlier this month.

Only the highest online bidders will have the chance to see the hip-hop superstar honor the new president-elect. The cheapest seats for the show, located in the balcony of Washington's Warner Theatre, cost between $195 and $375 depending on the view. Those disappeared from Ticketmaster in less than five minutes after going on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, January 9. (CNN)

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