Elton John was one of the first artists rumoured to be performing when the Trump transition team’s Anthony Scaramucci falsely declared the artist’s attendance.
The artist’s publicist Fran Curtis’ made a clear and definite response in a statement to the New York Times: “Incorrect. He will NOT be performing.”
Elton John said of the invitation: “I don’t really want my music to be involved in anything to do with an American election campaign. I’m British. I’ve met Donald Trump, he was very nice to me, it’s nothing personal, his political views are his own, mine are very different, I’m not a Republican in a million years. Why not ask Ted fucking Nugent? Or one of those fucking country stars? They’ll do it for you,” he told the Guardian.
Trump tried to recruit yet another Clinton campaigner supported when he asked John Legend to perform at the ceremony. The ever-insightful Legend has some thoughts on why pop stars won’t play for Trump, telling the BBC: “Creative people tend to reject bigotry and hate,” the ‘All Of You’ singer 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.”
Chart-topping duo The Chainsmokers were another name added to the rumour mill when New York Magazine reporter Brian Feldman tweeted that they were going to perform at the event. He later revealed that it was a joke, saying: a reporter asked about this tweet so I should say: I was joking. the chainsmokers will not be performing ‘closer’ for Donald trump.”
Despite Trump’s anti-gay cabinet and his opposing stance on marriage equality, the president attempted to enlist Adam Lambert for his musical services.
Being an active campaigner for LGBTQ rights, Lambert refused. He told the BBC: “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.”
It looked for a minute as if Trump may have found willing performers in the likes of The 1975… if he was able to meet frontman Matt Healy’s bizarre demands.
“I’ll do it if they give me cash up front,” he told the BBC. “Then watch what would happen. It would be a riot.”
The 1975 are known for supporting love and equality, and have used their song ‘Loving Someone’ to promote LGBTQ rights.
Swedish pop star Zara Larsson told the BBC she would “never do it”. Speaking at the BBC Music Awards, she continued by saying: “A lot of artists out there have been very pro-Hillary and anti-Donald. So I would never do it and most other smart people wouldn’t do it.”
Moby is the most recent artist to add his rejection letter to the pile, joking that he would DJ the ball “if as payment Trump released his tax returns.” He went on to say that he would “probably play Public Enemy and Stockhausen remixes to entertain the Republicans.” The Clinton supporter has previously called Trump “an actual sociopath” and has been vocal about his dislike for the president.
Check out a list of the other artists who have rejected Trump’s invitation:
The Dixie Chicks