Country singer Garth Brooks will not be performing at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration after turning down an invitation to celebrate the transition of power.
Brooks had said previously that he would consider singing at the event, telling TMZ that “It’s always about serving” and it is just “what you do,” though he ultimately went on to turn down the invitation, reports Taste of Country.
Brooks rarely ventures into political commentary and did not endorse any candidate during the 2016 election, though in 2011 he called for people to unify and support President Barack Obama even if they didn’t vote for him.
“Once we get there let’s try to be four years down the road further than we were and let’s see what happens,” Brooks said at the time. “Let’s all work together.”
Top musicians like Elton John and Celine Dion have also reportedly turned down offers to perform at the event, notes Rolling Stone. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Radio City Rockettes and 16-year-old singer Jackie Evancho are the only confirmed performers, while the Beach Boys, who have played at events for Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, are considering an offer.
“We’ve gotten calls that almost sound a little bit desperate: ‘Does anybody want to perform?'” music manager Ken Levitan, who works with artists like Kings of Leon, Hank Williams Jr., Lynyrd Skynyrd and Emmylou Harris. “At this point, we haven’t had anybody that has any desire to perform at the inauguration.”
Levitan said that even artists who support Trump “don’t want to be involved in the circus” associated with the way both Trump and the media portray events.
Meanwhile, Trump’s team is reportedly looking to book top pop artists like Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars, but “it’s been problematic,” an insider familiar with the process told The Wrap.
“They want to be cool and they want to be hip, but the problem is, they’re not, and no one’s going to go along with the charade,” the Dixie Chicks’ manager, Simon Renshaw, told Rolling Stone. “And the stuff they could get, they’re looking at it and going, ‘We’re going to have Ted Nugent and Kid Rock — oh my God, that doesn’t look like an inauguration, that’s going to look like a bar-room redneck brawl.'”
Sources: The Wrap, Taste of Country, Rolling Stone / Photo Credit: Garth Brooks/Facebook