These 6 Celebrities Are Refusing to Play Trump's Inauguration as Team Scrambles to Secure Talent

As Inauguration Day approaches, Donald Trump’s team is reportedly having such a hard time attracting celebrity performers that the president-elect has ordered a “Hail Mary” shakeup, according to the Wrap. Susan Bender, formerly a booker for "Dancing with the Stars," will now have her talents tested in the task of securing A-list talent. So far, the only confirmed performers are a 16-year-old "America’s Got Talent" contestant and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Which celebrities have reportedly turned down the chance to celebrate the new president-elect? Here’s a list so far.

Elton John 

When the New York Post claimed that a "key adviser" to Trump announced that Elton John would be performing at the inauguration, the singer’s representatives swiftly shut down his claim.

“This will be the first American president in U.S. history that enters the White House with a pro-gay-rights stance,” Anthony Scaramucci said on the BBC, according to the New York Times. Scaramucci, an investment banker as well as a member of the presidential transition team, said, “Elton John is going to be doing our concert on the mall for the inauguration.”

But according to the New York Times, Elton John's publicist said via email that this was untrue: “Incorrect. He will NOT be performing.”

Garth Brooks

Asked if he would perform at the inauguration, the country star replied with the vaguely patriotic, “It’s always about serving. It’s what you do.” But after weeks of speculation, the Wrap reports that Brooks will not be performing.

Celine Dion 

Steve Wynn, Donald Trump’s hotelier buddy, reportedly pledged to deliver up Celine Dion. He failed. Dion is refusing to take part.

Andrea Bocelli

The Trump team claimed that they had turned down Andrea Bocelli, but other reports suggest the singer decided against performing on January 20 because of potential backlash and bad press.

John Legend

We don’t know if John Legend has been asked, but the singer made his position pretty clear nevertheless.

“Creative people tend to reject bigotry and hate,” Legend told the BBC. “We tend to be more liberal-minded. When we see somebody that’s preaching division and hate and bigotry, it’s unlikely he’ll get a lot of creative people that want to be associated with him.”


When TMZ asked Gene Simmons if KISS would play the inauguration, Simmons tried to answer only to be shouted down by his wife and daughter, who yelled loudly, "No!" Once Simmons was able to speak, he diplomatically offered that the band would be touring Europe then, but his family continued making it quite clear that was not the reason.

The Wrap reports that the Trump team is offering to pay A-listers “anything” to get them on board.

Given his successful run on "Dancing with the Stars," perhaps Rick Perry can pull double duty as inauguration performer and incoming Energy Secretary.


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