While Wednesday’s inauguration featured a star-studded lineup of performers, for many it was lesser-known Amanda Gorman who truly stole the show. Crowned in a cherry red satin band and cloaked in a striking yellow overcoat, the young poet and activist – just tall enough to peep over the microphone – stunned the audience into silence as soon as she stepped up to the podium. Calling for “unity and togetherness,” the 22-year-old’s self-penned poem stirred hope and wonder across a mesmerised globe. For the entire five-minutes of her performance, you could have heard a pin drop on the West Front.
The poet laureate who stole the inauguration show: 5 things to know about the star.
She made history yesterday
At 22, Gorman became the youngest known inaugural poet when she performed on Wednesday. It’s just another ‘first’ she can add to her list – having been named first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, while a student at Harvard.
She used a song from the musical Hamilton to overcome a speech impediment as a child.
Just like Biden, Gorman was born with a speech impediment. Because she struggled saying words with the letter ‘R’ in particular, her favourite song to practice was the Hamilton track “Aaron Burr, Sir”. We even spotted two hidden Hamilton references in her inaugural poem – did you catch them too?
The bling on her finger? A ring gifted to her by Oprah Winfrey for the occasion.
The glistening caged bird ring she wore was a tribute to previous inaugural poet and her idol, Maya Angelou, who wrote I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
She’s added best-selling author to her title
After you lot rushed to get your hands on all things Gorman-related, the 22-year-old’s first-ever poetry collection, The Hill We Climb, and upcoming children’s picture book, Change Sings, shot up to the top of the Amazon sales charts overnight. “I AM ON THE FLOOR MY BOOKS ARE #1 & #2 ON AMAZON AFTER 1 DAY!,” she tweeted in glee.
She’s got her sights set on the White House
If we’re lucky, this won’t be the last time Gorman graces the inauguration stage. She hopes to run for president in 2036 – and has already bagged Hillary Clinton’s vote according to the former secretary of state’s twitter.