Donald Trump’s effort to line up talent for the inauguration has been stymied by the fact that so many musicians, artists, and entertainers supported Hillary Clinton.
He is among a number of musicians who are being asked to perform at inaugural events. Trump’s inaugural committee sent out packets to potential donors outlining a series of events in the days preceding the event, including a concert on the National Mall. The committee has not yet announced a complete lineup of events.
Meanwhile, sources say that Garth Brooks will not perform at the inaugural, after reports last week that he was among those being eyed by the inaugural committee. Asked by TMZ earlier this month if he would perform at the inauguration, Brooks said that he had not been asked yet, but said, “It’s always about serving. It’s what you do.” He has been apolitical this election cycle. Reps for the entertainer did not return a request for comment.
On Tuesday, Trump’s meeting with Kanye West stirred speculation that he would perform at one of the inaugural events, although West declined to comment when the two appeared before photographers at Trump Tower. He later tweeted that they met to discuss “multicultural issues,” including bullying, education, and violence in Chicago.
“I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future president if we truly want change,” he wrote.
Boris Epshteyn, spokesman for the inaugural committee, declined to say whether West would perform. He said that “first-class entertainers are eager to participate in the inaugural events. The inauguration as a whole will be an exciting and uniting celebration of freedom and democracy. We will be releasing specifics at the appropriate time.”
Variety reported last week that casino and hotel mogul Steve Wynn is reaching out to entertainers to perform at the event.
Even though the Trump campaign has described the inauguration as a unifying experience, the bitter campaign has left many of Clinton’s showbiz supporters “angry” and “raw,” in the words of some backers who worked on the campaign. Others have expressed alarm at some of his appointments, particularly when it comes to the environment.
Leonardo DiCaprio met with Trump last week to talk about climate change, and gave Trump’s daughter Ivanka a copy of his documentary “Before the Flood.” But later that day, Trump selected Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has challenged the science on climate change, writing that the “debate is far from settled.”