Country music singer Toby Keith has responded to critics after agreeing to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s pre-Inauguration Day concert.
Keith has agreed to perform at Trump’s “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” concert on Jan. 19, The Huffington Post reported. The country music star has responded to critics about his decision.
“I don’t apologize for performing for our country or military,” Keith told Entertainment Weekly. “I performed at events for previous presidents [George W.] Bush and [Barack] Obama and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO.”
Other artists who have agreed to perform at the president-elect’s celebration concert include 3 Doors Down, The Piano Guys, Lee Greenwood and the Frontmen of Country, according to the Presidential Inaugural Committee site.
Broadway star Jennifer Holliday was also on the bill, but has backed out. She explained her initial decision to sing at the concert in a letter published by The Wrap:
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 country… 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.
In light of the information pointed out to me via the Daily Beast article on yesterday, my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!
I 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…
Holliday is just one of many artists who have turned down an invitation to perform at Trump’s inauguration festivities.
Moby laughed at his invitation.
“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,” Moby wrote in an Instagram post. “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, Season 7 runner-up on the British “X Factor,” also said she would only perform at Trump’s inauguration if she could sing “Strange Fruit.” She said the song “speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States.”
Sources: The Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly, The Wrap, Moby/Instagram / Photo credit: U.S. Army/Flickr