Jennifer Holliday recently pulled out of her performance at President-elect Donald Trump’s Inauguration and issued an apology to her fans. She apologized for her “lapse in judgment” and said:
“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!”
The Broadway singer isn’t the first performer to decline an Inaugural invitation or cave to pressure from their “never Trump” fans.
Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli pulled out of his performance after the rumored backlash intensified to the point that he feared an appearance could irreparably damage his entire career.
“If I had done it, I would hope there would be some understanding for my motivation for it and judge me accordingly.”
Welsh singer Charlotte Church emphatically declined via Twitter:
@realDonaldTrump Your staff have asked me to sing at your inauguration, a simple Internet search would show I think you're a tyrant. Bye????
— Charlotte Church (@charlottechurch) January 10, 2017
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” actor and rapper, Ice T, also responded to his invitation via Twitter:
I just got call to perform at the Inauguration…. I didn’t pick up and Blocked the number.
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) December 16, 2016
The Dixie Chicks, who are themselves no strangers to political backlash, expressed their disappointment with anyone who would accept an invitation to perform. The group’s manager Simon Renshaw told TheWrap:
“If anyone does do it, I hope that the check that they get is in the nine figures. Because it’s probably the last check they’re ever going to get.”
Amidst the seemingly overwhelming list of “no, thank you”s, one big name in country music isn’t about to let politics get in the way of a performance. Toby Keith, a self-proclaimed “independent” is set to perform at the Lincoln Memorial on January 19th.
The proud American singer has an extensive list of musical accolades and has repeatedly shown his support for the United States military.
During a performance in Atlanta in 2015, he brought military members on stage to honor the four Marines and one sailor who were killed in a terror attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) August 1, 2015
He also participated in a surprise homecoming:
— Military Surprise (@MilitarySurpris) December 22, 2016
Keith has even performed for soldiers in Baghdad, Iraq.
His decision to play sparked backlash from Twitter:
3 Doors Down and Toby Keith are performing at the Trump Inauguration. Don't buy any more of their albums. #GrabYourWallet
— Democratic Restoration Movement ? (@NoFascistLies) January 13, 2017
Its called Freedom of Choice just as I have the choice not to listen to his hideous music.
— LadyLiberty (@FrizzleFelicity) January 14, 2017
County Fair level entertainment, appropriate enough for a carnival midway of an administration
— Paul Rieder (@smoke_grinder) January 13, 2017
Despite the criticism, you won’t find him saying “sorry” anytime soon.
In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, the country star said:
“I don’t apologize for performing for our country or military.”
His music transcends the political aisle, and his statement highlighted other important performances he has done:
“I performed at events for previous presidents [George W.] Bush and [Barack] Obama and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO.”
With songs titled “American Soldier,” “Courtesy of The Red, White, and Blue,” and “Made in America” the singer seems like the perfect entertainer to perform at one of America’s most important events.