12 Artists Who Refused to Perform at Donald Trump’s Inauguration


The 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and election are finally over. It was one of the most controversial ones and it divided the people of America.

When the results were released there were mixed emotions from hope, anger, joy, despair, you name it. It was full of drama.

Now the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States marked the beginning of his four-year term as President. He is the oldest and wealthiest person inaugurated as president. Also, he is the first without prior military or governmental service experience to hold the office.

The ceremony included performances from prominent artists. Although it was successful and a peaceful one (security was tight!) controversies were not avoided. One of them were artists turning down the invitation to perform at his inauguration.

Who were they? Read on to find out.

12. Beyonce


Queen B is one of the most powerful artists in the music industry. Not to mention she’s married to the music industry’s powerhouse. She’s also an advocate of women empowerment so just with that we already have an idea who she’s rooting for.

Beyonce reasons out, “Less than 100 years ago, women did not have the right to vote. Look how far we’ve come from having no voice to being on the brink of making history, again, by electing the first woman president. But we have to vote.”

11. Kanye West


Aside from his tantrums and sometimes questionable choices, we all know him as Trump supporter. And when he supports something, he’s very vocal about it.

Donald and Kanye may have a good relationship but according to Tom Barrack, chairman of Trump’s presidential inaugural committee, he won’t be performing. He told CNN: “Donald is a great admirer of Kanye, as we are all, but he is not performing at the inauguration.” Sorry Kanye maybe in some other occasion.

10. Elton John


Sometimes no matter how rich and powerful you are, you can’t have everything. Just like this case. The billionaire president is thought to be a big fan of John and is even known to watch videos of his old gigs while traveling.

Trump’s campaign rallies can sometimes be mistaken for an Elton John concert as the likes of Tiny Dancer and Rocket Man played endlessly over the speakers.

But there was absolutely no chance he would be performing after fundraising for Hillary Clinton. He has denied reports he would be performing for him, saying the reports as “completely untrue”. Sorry, Donald looks like you’ll be sticking to watching his old gigs.

9. Katy Perry

Katy Perry is another powerhouse in the music industry. But early on during the presidential campaign, Katy has been rallying for Hillary Clinton so performing for Trump’s inauguration was already impossible.

She campaigned for Hillary at a rally at UNLV during the first day of early voting in Nevada on Saturday afternoon. She started out the day by knocking on doors of students who lived on the campus. Then she held a rally on campus and greeted fans. So that’s it.

8. Moby


The DJ, singer, songwriter, musician, photographer and animal rights activist is not one to shy away from voicing out his opinions.

He got an invitation and announced his decision on Instagram, where he laughed off the offer. “Hahahahaha, I was just asked by a booking agent if I would consider djing at one of the inaugural balls for #trump… Hahahahaha, wait, Hahahaha, really?” he wrote.

He then continued to say that he would only accept the offer to DJ only if Trump released his tax returns. And looks like it’s never going to happen.

7. Andrea Bocelli

The Italian classical tenor, recording artist and singer-songwriter was born with poor eyesight and he became permanently blind at the age of 12 following a football accident.

At one point in early December, the major performance looked like it was going to be Andrea Bocelli and America’s Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho duetting on the National Mall. But he has pulled out, after receiving a landslide of criticism from his fan base.

“Bocelli said there was no way he’d take the gig … he was ‘getting too much heat’ and he said no,” a source told a column. Another source also said, “Trump suggested to Bocelli he not participate because of the backlash. It’s sad people on the left kept him from performing on a historic day.”

6. Lady Gaga


When Lady Gaga spoke to the audience at Hillary’s campaign rally, she said, “Hillary Clinton is made of steel! Hillary Clinton is unstoppable!” The crowd went wild, of course.

Also reported by the Washington Post, Lady Gaga wore the outfit that Michael Jackson wore to the White House in 1990. The black and white suit on the photo above. Lady Gaga also told the crowd that Trump was angry and divisive. She said Clinton was well prepared for the presidency. “She didn’t just wake up one morning and decide she wanted to be president.”

5. Adam Lambert

In an interview with BBC, Adam Lambert, was very delicate when publicly declining to take part in the inauguration. He said, “I don’t think I would take the money on that one,” he said. “I don’t think I’d be endorsing that. They might struggle.”

Considering how much he has campaigned for LGBTQ rights and the track record that Trump’s current team has on actively trying to take down those rights, we highly doubt he would support him back.

4. John Legend

The always discerning John Legend offered an explanation for why Trump might be having a difficult time getting artists for his inauguration in an interview with BBC.

“Creative people tend to reject bigotry and hate,” the crooner, who previously campaigned for Hillary Clinton, said. “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.” So there you go, Trump

3. Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel has had her own troubles with patriotic anthems before, and she’s definitely not going to try again on Trump’s behalf. In an interview with Vanity Fair, she commented on Trump’s difficulty locking down artists to sing, saying: “It’s karma, baby.”

She continued, “I mean, look: All the artists in the world got up and tried to get our girl [Hillary Clinton] elected, and it still didn’t happen, so we’re all still trying to recover from that.”

2. Charlotte Church

The Welsh singer-songwriter, actress and television presenter rose to fame in childhood as a classical singer before branching into pop music in 2005. By 2007, she had sold more than 10 million records worldwide including over 5 million in the United States.

So Trump’s team decided to invite her to perform at the inauguration. Unfortunately, as sweet as she looks her response was an in your face one. She hammered out on Twitter calling him a “tyrant” with a couple of unpleasant emojis.

“@realDonaldTrump Your staff have asked me to sing at your inauguration, a simple Internet search would show I think you’re a tyrant. Bye?

1. Dixie Chicks

In a conversation with the Wrap The Dixie Chicks’ manager, Simon Renshaw, not only declined that the group would perform but seemed to answer for the collective anti-Trump congregation, saying: “No one is prepared to normalize what is going on in the country right now.”

He also added a warning to the artists that do agree to play: “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.” Harsh.

There you have it. The 12 Artists Who Refused to Perform at Donald Trump’s Inauguration. So it wasn’t only the average citizen who disliked Trump. These artists were very vocal and some were even harsh in their response.

You can’t please everybody and even this billionaire president can’t do it. But he doesn’t care anyway it’s just work for him, nothing personal. This is the land of the free after all, so everybody is entitled to their own opinion.