Obama takes oath of office for second term
Celebrities hit the high notes for Obama
In true American style, Barack Obama's presidential inauguration had all the pomp and ceremony of a patriotic rock concert.
Barack Obama has publicly sworn his oath of office for the second time before a crowd of some 800,000 in the National Mall, echoing the Declaration of Independence and calling for unity at the beginning of a speech that emphasised liberal economic and social ideals.
Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.
Mr Obama also declared a decade of war is ending, the US economy is recovering and "America's possibilities are limitless".
Barack Obama is sworn in during the public ceremony as first lady Michelle Obama looks on. Photo: Getty Images
"My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together," Obama said, moments after taking the oath of office.
The President demanded equality for gays, action on climate change and reform of immigration laws, and he defended the role of government as an agent for positive action.
"We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate," he said, referring to the bitterly divided state of American politics, and in particular, of Congress.
Star fans ... Beyonce and Jay-Z attend the inauguration. Photo: Getty Images
“For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” he said.
Surrounded by family, friends and supporters, as well as members of Congress, the Supreme Court and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on a vast specially made stage attached to the West Terrace of the Capitol building, Mr Obama made his oath on two bibles – one owned by Abraham Lincoln, the other by Martin Luther King.
Second term ... Barack Obama with his family behind him. Photo: Getty Images
Then it was Beyonce's turn to tie-up proceedings with her rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner". People.com reports that she was wearing a pair of 80-carat emerald earrings and a 50-carat emerald ring by Lorraine Schwartz.
Watch the magic below.
President Barack Obama gives his inauguration address during the public ceremonial inauguration. Photo: Getty Images
Inauguration events will continue through the day, beginning with the inaugural luncheon in the Capitol, followed by the parade back to the White House and this evening’s two official balls.