A spokesman for the group said in a statement, “The Beach Boys have been asked to perform as part of the inauguration festivities. But no decision has been made at this point as to how or whether they will participate. We will let you know as soon as a decision is final.”
Jackie Evancho, who was a contestant on “America’s Got Talent,” will perform the National Anthem at the swearing in ceremony on Jan. 20, and the Radio City Rockettes will participate in festivities. Other performers, like Elton John and Garth Brooks, have declined, according to sources, and Andrea Bocelli also will not participate despite a meeting with Trump. Mark Burnett, executive producer of “The Apprentice,” and casino mogul Steve Wynn are said to be among those reaching out to talent.
Music industry executives, however, say that performers are reluctant to commit for fear of a backlash. Mike Love, who leads the current configuration of the group (which does not include Brian Wilson), has gotten a fair degree of comments on his Facebook page urging him not to perform.
While it has always been doubtful that Trump would be able to secure figures like Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry, both of whom backed Hillary Clinton, there has been considerable attention on just who will turn out for the inauguration. Clinton enjoyed lopsided support from the entertainment industry, and many in the creative community are looking for ways to best oppose Trump’s policies, not to make a show of support and unity.
Trump himself has tried to dismiss the attention paid to who he can secure, tweeting last week that “The so-called “A” list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!”
On CNBC’s “Squawk Box” last week, Trump’s inauguration chairman, Thomas Barrack, said that it was Bocelli who told Trump that he would consider performing. But Trump, Barrack said, told him, “You don’t need to. We’re not in that kind of a framework. Thanks very much for the offer. You’re my friend. You are always welcome at the White House.”
“It never got to: Can you, will you, would you with either of them. They’re just great friends. And that was it,” Barrack said.
Boris Epshteyn, a spokesman for the inaugural committee, told CNN on Tuesday that they were not looking for A-list talent.
“This is not Woodstock. It’s not Summer Jam. It’s not a concert. It’s not about celebrities,” he said. “As Donald Trump tweeted himself, it’s about the people. That’s what we’re concentrated on.”
He said that more performers would be announced.
Meanwhile, Marie Claire published an account from one Rockette who lamented the announcement that they would perform, which their producer later said would be voluntary. “This is making our show, our job, our name, branded as right-wing. An extreme right-wing. There’s a reason why everyone else is turning this down. Why are we not?”
There also have been rumblings that plans are in the works for a rival “freedom and unity” concert, with a petition and a post from Robert Reich urging Trump’s detractors to organize such an event. But a flyer announcing the event that has been circulating online is not real and is instead based on Reich’s idea.