Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down and Jennifer Holliday are set to perform at a Donald Trump inauguration concert event in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 19.
The acts are the headliners of the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration,” which the Trump Inaugural Committee announced Friday (1/13), along with an event called “Voices of the People.” Both will be held at the Lincoln Memorial.
Or wait! Scratch that maybe. Jennifer Holliday now says she’s been asked, but has not yet said yes. Maybe she is reconsidering after fans blasted her on twitter–many of which are members of the LGBT community.
“Jennifer has been asked to perform but she hasn’t officially agreed to do so yet,” her publicist, Bill Carpenter, told TheWrap. “I’ll let you know later this afternoon for sure if she’ll be performing.”
Will the star of Dreamgirls and The Color Purple be singing “And I am Telling You…I’m Not Going” this afternoon? I couldn’t resist.
UPDATE: It took 24 hours, but yes indeed, Jennifer Holliday will no longer perform for Inauguration festivities and also offered an apology to her fans. Read the full letter at TheWrap:
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.
The concert will also feature remarks from the president-elect, plus actor Jon Voight, The Piano Guys, Lee Greenwood, DJ Ravi Drums, and The Frontmen of Country (Tim Rushlow, former lead singer of “Little Texas,” Larry Stewart of Restless Heart and Richie McDonald of Lonestar), as well as military bands.
For his part, Lee Greenwood, who has performed at four previous Republican inaugurations says, according to a press release, “I’m honored to be part of history again and sing for President-elect Donald Trump. This is a time to overcome challenges in our country and band together. My wife Kim and I are looking forward to the inauguration ceremonies.”
That’s an all-star lineup right there! At least the inaugural committee didn’t have to resort to bringing on Chaichi and Ayla Brown.
“Voices of the People,” which kicks off the celebration this coming Thursday, will feature “groups from the hundreds of applications received by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to take part in inaugural festivities,” according to the Committee’s press release.
“President-elect Trump has made it clear that this inaugural is of, by, and for the American people,” Inaugural Committee chairman Tom Barrack said in a statement. In other words…no A-listers would be caught dead at this thing.
Other acts on board for the inaugural events include America’s Got Talent alum Jackie Evancho (she’ll sing the anthem at the ceremony) The Rockettes and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Paul Anka was scheduled to sing a reconfigured “My Way” for Trump, but had to back out due to scheduling issues. Whatever Anka came up with in tribute of PEOTUS couldn’t be as awesome as this:
Lastly, there was a piece in the Sunday New York Times about Jackie Evancho where she talks about choosing to sing at the inaugural, despite the blowback. Her family is suing the local school district to allow Jackie’s transgender sister, Juliet, to use the girls bathroom. Jackie and her family say none of it is “political.”
“I just kind of thought that this is for my country,” the 16-year-old told the New York Times. “So if people are going to hate on me it’s for the wrong reason.”
For me it’s not political,” Jackie she said of the bathroom lawsuit. “It’s just accepting people for who they are.”
Jackie’s father, Mike Evancho agreed: “We’re fighting this discrimination at the high school,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who’s going into the office, we would still fight that fight.”
For her part, Juliet won’t be at the inaugural, but will support her sister “in spirit.” In a CBS Sunday Morning interview with Jackie and Juliet airing this Sunday, Juliet said, “The way I look at it is Jackie is singing for our country, and it’s an honor for her to be singing in front of so many people. So I feel that’s really where I look at it. And that’s where I’m going to leave it right now.”