Donald Trump Inauguration: List of Musicians Who Said No

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So who are the A Listers who’ve ruled out performing at Donald Trump’s Inauguration balls?

For his part, Trump denies that he cares. After stories circulated that top names were refusing to perform at his January 20 inauguration, Trump tweeted that he preferred to party with “the people.”

The biggest name to surface so far, the Beach Boys, were a “maybe.” But that hasn’t yet panned out. The Rockettes are performing. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is too. Jackie Evancho of America’s Got Talent is confirmed. The latest performer to say maybe: British inger Rebecca Ferguson, who says she would “graciously accept” but only if she can perform Strange Fruit, a protest song about lynchings, according to BBC.

Tim Rushlow and His Big Band, which performs retro hits by American icons like Frank Sinatra, will perform as Donald and Melania Trump make their first dance, Buzzfeed reported. Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, and Lee Greenwood are also lined up to perform.

You can read more about who’s signed up here.

Here’s the list of musicians who were possibilities but said no:

Jennifer Holliday

Jennifer Holliday was lined up to perform but has now backed out due to backlash from the LGBT community.

“I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized county,” she said in a letter to The Wrap. “Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence… sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.”

Andrea Bocelli

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Andrea Bocelli is one of the most gifted singers in the world.

The opera signer was going to perform but backed out after getting heat from fans, according to Page Six, adding that a boycott movement ignited on social media.

Trump’s inaugural committee chairman Thomas J. Barrack Jr. told Rolling Stone it was Trump’s decision, arguing he “denied Bocelli’s offer to perform.”

“The Bocellis came to him and said, ‘Look, if it would be helpful to you, if you would like us to perform, we would consider it,'” Barrack said, according to Rolling Stone.

Whichever it is, Bocelli is out.

Celine Dion

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TMZ reported that Dion turned Trump down because she is already booked to do shows the night of the inauguration in Las Vegas and doesn’t want to let down fans who are looking forward to seeing them.

This despite the fact that Trump’s friend Steve Wynn was supposedly trying to get Dion to do it.


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Gene Simmons’ wife has made it clear that KISS will not perform at the inauguration.

Elton John

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Elton John with his husband, David Furness. (Getty)

CNN reported that John’s spokesperson says he will not perform at the inauguration, “denying a claim made by a vice chair of Trump’s presidential inaugural committee” who said John would perform to highlight gay rights.

Garth Brooks

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Garth Brooks. (Getty)

Daily Variety reports that Brooks is not performing at the inauguration, even though, when TMZ asked him about it previously, he had said, “It’s always about serving. It’s what you do.”


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The band’s manager denied a magazine’s report they were performing.

Ice T

Ice T tweeted that he had blocked a call seeking to have him play at the inauguration. But then he clarified that it was all a joke:

Then there’s a second list of musicians who are obviously in Clinton’s camp and have been from the start. In other words, they were never even remotely in reach and were not invited (because they would obviously have said no).

This second list of people is included to show how limited the pool of potential inaugural performer possibilities was for Trump in the first place because of the number of celebrities who were vocal Clinton backers. He’s made the point that this won’t necessarily hurt him; appearing with celebrities in the presidential campaign didn’t get Clinton the White House, and Trump has historically benefited when perceived cultural elites bash him.

They include:


jay z clinton concert

Beyonce told the crowd why she was supporting Clinton. “Less than 100 years ago, women did not have the right to vote. Look how far we’ve come from having no voice to being on the brink of making history, again, by electing the first woman president. But we have to vote.” (Getty)

She and Jay Z performed with Clinton in the waning days of the presidential election.

Bruce Springsteen

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Bruce Springsteen cancelled his April 10 concert in Greensboro, North Carolina to protest the HB 2 law.

Despite Trump’s support from white working class voters, the Boss is a Clinton fan.

Katy Perry

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Katy Perry campaigned for Hillary Clinton at a rally at UNLV during the first day of early voting in Nevada on Saturday afternoon. She started out the day by knocking on doors of students who lived on campus. Then she held a rally on campus and greeted fans. Click through the gallery to see photos of Perry’s Saturday rally for Clinton. (Getty)

It’s hard to see Trump asking because Perry performed for Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.

Jennifer Lopez

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Jennifer Lopez. (Getty)

Lopez performed for Clinton in Miami during the presidential campaign.

Jon Bon Jovi

clinton raleigh rally

Hillary Clinton’s final rally before the election was a midnight rally in Raleigh, North Carolina at the NCSU’s William Neal Reynolds Coliseum. She was joined by Lady Gaga, Jon Bon Jovi, Chelsea Clinton, and Bill Clinton. Space was limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. According to ABC, just about every seat in the Reynolds Coliseum was filled. Click through the gallery to see photos and stories about her last rally. (Getty)

Bon Jovi is another big name celebrity who hit the campaign trail for Hillary.

Lady Gaga

clinton raleigh rally

When Lady Gaga spoke to the crowd, she said, “Hillary Clinton is made of steel! Hillary Clinton is unstoppable!” The crowd cheered. According to the Washington Post, Lady Gaga wore the outfit that Michael Jackson wore to the White House in 1990. Lady Gaga told the crowd that Trump was angry and divisive. She said Clinton was well prepared for this. “She didn’t just wake up one morning and decide she wanted to be president.” (Getty)

Lady Gaga is a Hillary fan.