With Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony approaching, the headlines regarding which musical acts will (and which will not) be performing at the event have been popping up ever more regularly throughout the weeks preceding the event.
Unsurprisingly, it seems that Trump’s team has had a hard time locking down performers – polls are currently showing the president elect’s approval rate is sitting around 37%. Many celebrities have publicly declined the invitation, and backlash and criticism seem to accompany any “attending” RSVPs.
Regardless, some celebs have confirmed that they will be there on January 20th. So, here’s the unofficial list of performers who are expected to turn up, and also the (slightly longer) list of those who likely will not.
Jackie Evancho: The 16-year-old classical singer who became famous after participating on “America’s Got Talent” in 2010 will be singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the night of the inauguration.
In an interview discussing her choice to sing at the event, Evancho said “I just kind of thought that this is for my country, so if people are going to hate on me it’s for the wrong reason.”
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: The choir, which consists of 360 choir members, confirmed that they would be performing on the night of January 20th back in December. Not all members saw eye-to-eye on the decision however, with one member quitting and others defending their choice to sing at the inauguration ceremony. (1) (2)
The Rockettes: There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding The Rockettes’ confirmation, as it was rumoured that dancers were being “forced” to perform on the evening. This forced the manager of the dance company to put out a formal statement saying that no dancer was being made to perform against their will. (3)
Elton John: A rumour about the British singer making an appearance at the event was seen to be circulating at one point in time, however a member of John’s team issued a statement firmly denying any authenticity of the claim. (4)
David Foster: The Canadian music producer known for his 16-time Grammy wins was expected to help in organizing the event according to and article published in Pagesix. But he later, denied this in an interview with People Magazine saying, “I have no idea where this story came from.”
Charlotte Church: One of the more aggressive rejections came from the Welsh singer who tweeted about Trump saying, “Your staff have asked me to sing at your inauguration, a simple Internet search would show I think you’re a tyrant. Bye”.
Moby: Similar to Charlotte Church, Moby used social media as his platform to comment on inauguration plans. He posted on his Instagram page (a day after Church posted to Twitter) with the following message: “Hahahahaha, I was just asked by a booking agent if I would consider DJing at one of the inaugural balls for #Trump… Hahahahaha, wait, Hahahaha, really? I guess I’d DJ at an inaugural ball if as payment #Trump released his tax returns. Also I would probably play public enemy and stockhausen remixes to entertain the republicans. I’m still laughing. Hahahaha. So #Trump what do you think, I DJ for you and you release your tax returns?”
Rebecca Ferguson: In a tweet posted on January 9th, titled Inauguration Ceremony update, the former UK X-Factor 2010 runner-up said she would not be performing at the event due to differences in opinions over song choice. Ferguson has publicly stated that she would only perform if she were able to sing the song “Strange Fruit”. (5)
Jewish communist Abel Meeropol wrote “Strange Fruit” in the 1930s and the song was made famous later by Billie Holiday. It is a song protesting racism in 1930s America.
Other artists who have publicly declined the invitation include: Ice T, The Dixie chicks, R Kelly, Kiss, and Andrea Boceli amongst others.
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