When Kamala Harris took the stage in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday to address the nation for the first time as vice president-elect, she did so to the sounds of singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige.
Later on in the evening, as the victory speeches wrapped up, Coldplay amplified the venue’s airwaves — a nod to Joe Biden’s late son, Beau.
Music played a role in Saturday’s drive-in rally celebrating the victories of Biden and Harris and their historic campaign. Here’s a look at the songs that were played, and what we know about why they might have been chosen.
1. “Work That" by Mary J. Blige
Saturday marked the second time audiences heard this song accompany Harris on the campaign trail. It was the same song she walked off the stage to at the Democratic National Convention after becoming the first woman of color to be nominated to a major political party’s presidential ticket in US history.
The song features the lyrics “I hear you been running from the beautiful queen that you could be becoming. Just because the length of your hair ain’t long, and they often criticize you for your skin tone, wanna hold your head high, cause you’re a pretty woman ... Read the book of my life, and see I’ve overcome it.”
The song is said to be one of Harris’s favorites, and the powerful entrance captured the country’s attention.
2. “We Take Care of Our Own” by Bruce Springsteen
In remarks introducing Biden, Harris said the American people had protected democracy in the 2020 election, and vowed to work to build a better future amid the coronavirus pandemic.
That’s when “We Take Care of Our Own” by Bruce Springsteen started playing, and Biden took the stage to address the nation for the first time as president-elect.
3. “Times Like These” by the Foo Fighters
After his speech, President-elect Biden waved to the crowd to the sounds of the Foo Fighters. Later that night, the Foo Fighters were the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” where the band performed the same song acoustically.
4. “(Your Love Keeps Lifting me) Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson
As Dr. Jill Biden entered the room as the next First Lady, she did so to “Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson.
5. “Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay
After Biden and Harris’s speeches, thirteen members of Biden’s immediate and extended family accompanied the president-elect and Dr. Biden on stage. They were joined by Harris, her husband, and two step-children. As fireworks went off and confetti canons blasted, the Coldplay hit “Sky Full of Stars” played, a song that holds special significance for the Biden family.
According to CNN anchor Dana Bash, “the president-elect talks so much of the soul of the country, and it’s one of his favorite phrases. But his personal soul was his son that passed away… The fact that Coldplay was playing there: A friend of the family texted me to say this was Beau’s favorite song.”
Coldplay’s Chris Martin even sang at Beau Biden’s funeral after learning how much he loved the band.
Beau Biden died in 2015 at the age of 46 after a long battle with brain cancer.
6. “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Daryl Hall & John Oats
7. “The Best” by Tina Turner
This story has been updated to correct the first song’s name to “Work That.”