For weeks, popular celebrities and musicians have rejected Trump’s invitations to perform at his inaugural ceremony. Trump’s inaugural ceremony is on January 20, 2017, and it’s shaping up to be a disaster rather than a celebration. Due to Trump’s extreme presidential campaign and debates, he has stirred mixed emotions among Americans and celebrities alike.

In addition, the Celebrity Apprentice star is reportedly unhappy with the scheduled performances for his swearing in ceremony. Most importantly, compared to Barack Obama who had Beyonce, Alicia Keys and other well-known musicians perform at his ceremony, things are looking… dull. Consequently, Trump has had a very hard time convincing musicians to perform at his ceremony.

Trump’s Reputation Among Celebrities

Many actors, musicians, artists and other celebrities were very vocal about their political preferences during the presidential campaign. As well, numerous celebrities have voiced their concerns about performing at Trump’s inaugural ceremony because of bad publicity. As a result, Trump’s inaugural ceremony will not include performances by many A-list musicians.

Most noteworthy, in the months leading up to the election, many celebrities vocalized their opinions and views on Trump. Accordingly, some were very open about their support for Clinton over Trump. Due to this, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift took to social media to show their support and sympathy for Clinton. They lead by example when explaining that they do not agree with Trump’s political agenda.

Scheduled Performances

In fact, the owner of the Radio City Rockettes told dancers that if they don’t perform, they would be fired. Although the Rockettes have performed at popular events, they do not want to be involved in a traumatic political event. Hence, the dancers are discontented with Trump’s comments and treatment of women and different minority groups in America.

trump's inaugural ceremony
Credit: Krista Schlueter/ The New York Times

Recently, the broadway star Jennifer Holliday has even backed out of her performance just days before the ceremony. She stated that she did not realize that her participation in the event would stir up such strong emotions among her fans. Holliday realized that being a part of this event could be conceived as supporting Trump, which is the mindset that many celebrities have taken.

As it currently stands, there is a longer list of celebrities who have declined the invitation to perform at this event than those who will. The president-elect’s transition team has noted that the following musicians have declined the invitation to perform:

  • Adam Lambert
  • Andrea Bocelli
  • Beyonce
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Bruno Mars
  • Celine Dion
  • Chainsmokers
  • David Foster
  • Dixie Chicks
  • Elton John
  • Garth Brooks
  • George Lopez
  • Ice T
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Kanye West
  • Katy Perry
  • KISS
  • Lady Gaga
  • Washington DC area high school marching bands

On the other hand, there are a handful of musicians who have agreed to perform without fear of repercussion. It took many weeks for his transition team but they were finally able to secure a few headlining musicians to attend Trump’s swearing in.

Trump’s Inaugural Ceremony

On January 19, 2017, president-elect Donald Trump and vice president-elect Mike Pence will participate in a 200-year old tradition at Arlington National Cemetery: They will lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Following this, they will head to the White House where the concerts will begin.

To kick start the event on January 19, a celebration called the “Voices of the People” will include performances by different groups leading up to the headliners. The big event, “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration”, will include performances by high profile musicians. The 16-year old America’s Got Talent contestant, Jackie Evancho, will be singing the national anthem.

trump's inaugural ceremony

Opposite other celebrities opinions, Toby Keith has even stated publicly that he is not ashamed of nor will he apologize for performing at Trump’s inaugural ceremony. Consequently, Keith states that he has performed for Bush, Obama, and 200 shows in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He may be one of the few high profile celebrities who takes this stance against the media. The “Voices of the People” event will include guests such as:

  • The DC Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums
  • King’s Academy Honor Choir
  • Republican Hindu Coalition
  • Montgomery Area High School Marching Band
  • Marlana Van Hoose
  • Maury NJROTC Color Guard
  • Pride of Madawaska
  • Webelos Troop 177
  • Northern Middle School Honors Choir
  • American Tap Company
  • South Park and District Pipe Band
  • Everett High School Viking Marching Band
  • TwirlTasTix Baton Twirling
  • Celtic United Pipes and Drums

Controversy and Opposition

Trump’s transition team denies the fact that many musicians have showed very low interest in celebrating his inauguration. Accordingly, up to 40 democrats have taken the stance to not go to Trump’s inauguration ceremony. As a result, the musicians that are scheduled to perform on January 20 at the Lincoln Memorial are as follows:

  • 3 Doors Down
  • Jackie Evancho
  • Jon Voigt
  • Lee Greenwood
  • The Frontmen of Country
  • The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  • The Piano Guys
  • The Rockettes
  • The Talladega College Marching Band
  • Toby Keith
  • RaviDrums
  • US Marine Band

The inaugural celebration to welcome the 45th president of the United States will include a parade, concerts and inaugural balls. Even though there will be many protests about his inauguration, the celebration will still be roaring on. Accordingly, some musicians have given Trump an ultimatum to accept his invite. Furthermore, this includes an agreement where they would be allowed to perform certain songs that would act more as satire against him than to support him.

Accordingly, Trump did not accept the counter invitations from these musicians. Furthermore, the traditional presidential inauguration ceremony is one that every president experiences and enjoys before taking on the many responsibilities of being the POTUS. However, this year’s presidential inauguration ceremony will be sure to be more controversial than celebrated across the nation.

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