JOE Biden has been sworn in as president ahead of a speech in which he will call for unity across the country.
The new president's inaugural address is expected to "lay out a vision for the future” following months of tumultuous political division.
Read our Inauguration Day 2021 live blog for the very latest news and updates on Joe Biden's swearing-in and Donald Trump's exit…
Today’s ceremony will see performances from the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and John Legend.
It will also be guarded by 25,000 members of the National Guard amid security concerns following the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6.
A tweet from Biden's twitter account this morning read: "It’s a new day in America."
He later posted a short clip showing wife Dr Jill Biden reaching to grab his hand as the pair waited in a holding area ahead of the ceremony.
A caption read: "I love you, Jilly, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have you with me on the journey ahead."
Lady Gaga took to the platform ahead of the swearing in to sing the Star Spangled Banner to a crowd left noticeably reduced by the coronavirus pandemic.
Pictures showed former president Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton at the Capitol for the event.
Vice President Pence is also in attendance for the ceremony.
Biden this morning attended a service at the the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington DC along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
Speaking on CNN this morning, incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the invitations to bipartisan leaders were intended to "be used as an example" of the path forward for the country.
She also said Biden’s inaugural address would “definitely not [be] a speech about Donald Trump”.
Communications director Kate Bedingfield told ABC that Joe Biden’s address would “speak to the moment that we are in, but it will also lay out a vision for the future”.
Aides have said the speech will focus on the coronavirus pandemic as well as the racial and political issues that have divided the US over the last year.
Watch the inauguration LIVE on The Sun's YouTube channel
It comes as:
– Donald Trump said 'we'll be back' as he enjoyed a 21-gun salute farewell at Joint Base Andrews
– It was confirmed Trump followed tradition and left a letter for Biden
– Biden's son Hunter was spotted leaving church
– Surgeon General Jerome Adams confirmed Biden's team asked him to step down
– Trump pardoned Lil Wayne, Kodak Black and 140 more – but snubbed Joe Exotic
– A-listers and celebs such as Lady Gaga and J-Lo prepare to attend the inauguration – reportedly angering Trump
– Fears continue to loom over security as thousands of National Guard flooded Washington DC following the Capitol Riot
Ahead of the ceremony, former president Barack Obama, for whom Biden served as vice president, tweeted a picture of the two of them in the White House.
"Congratulations to my friend, President @JoeBiden! This is your time," he wrote.
This year's inauguration will be vastly different to previous ones because of the strict restrictions to stop the spread of Covid-19 and increased security after a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol.
The seige on January 6 left five people dead – including a police officer.
Tens of thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed across the capital after authorities have warned some extremist Trump supporters are calling for more violence.
There have been no specific threats made against Biden.
The nation's capital is essentially on lockdown as tanks and concrete barriers block the streets, the National Mall is closed, fencing is on the perimeter of the Capitol and checkpoints sit at intersections.
Commercial flights are into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport are also being blocked until after Biden takes the oath of office, CNN reports.
The Secret Service, which is in charge of the event, says it is prepared for today's historic event.
A post shared by Hillary Clinton (@hillaryclinton)
Donald Trump will not be attending Biden's inauguration and is the first president since Andrew Johnson in 1869 to opt out.
The tradition of attending the successor's inauguration goes back to the country's first president George Washington to show how America can tranisition leadership peacefully.
A number of senior Republicans, including outgoing vice president Mike Pence and Senator Ted Cruz, one of Trumps most vocal supporters, will be attending the event.
Biden and Harris have also urged supporters to stay home because of the pandemic, but a small number of tickets will be distributed.
About 200,000 small US state and terroritial flags have been planted on the National Mall – to represent those you cannot attend.
Superstar Lady Gaga will sing the National Anthem to a noticiably reduced crowd before Biden takes his oath to serve as president.
JLo will also give a performance just before the ceremony.
Today's inauguration started at 11am local time with a prayer from Biden's longtime friend Leo O'Donovan.
Then the Pledge of Allegience will be led by Andrea Hall, the first African American female firefighter to become captian of her unit in Fulton, Georgia.
Lady Gaga will then sing the "Star Spangled Banner" before Amanda Gorman, the first-ever Youth Laureate, will read a poem.
Then popstar JLo will perform followed by country singer Garth Brooks, who has said he is performing for "unity".
The final person to speak before the ceremony officially starts is Rev. Silvester Beaman, who will deliver a benediction.
At noon, Chief Justice John Roberts along with Biden and his wife Jill begin the ceremony.
Jill will hold the family's 127-year-old bible that Biden will put his hand on while taking the oath.
After Biden is sworn in, Justice Sonya Sotomayor will swear in Kamala Harris as vice president.
A picture tweeted by Hillary Clinton this morning showed Harris ahead of the event playing with with her grand-nieces".
Harris will use two bibles – one from a friend Regina Sheltong and the personal one belonging to the first black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Biden will then deliver his address for about 30 minutes.
The usual traditions of luncheons and celebrations will not happen this year.
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