Trump Inauguration Update: Orlando, Flatley Sign On

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President-Elect Donald Trump

Update (Jan. 19): Michael Flatley and his Lord of the Dance troupe are also said to be performing at the Liberty Ball on Friday night (Jan. 20). TMZ broke the story.

Update (Jan. 18): One more name to add to the roster: Tony Orlando, of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” fame, has announced that he will sing for the incoming president. According to Billboard, he is set to perform at Friday night’s Salute to Our Armed Services Ball. That ball is free by invitation only for members and veterans of the armed services and their families. It will be at the National Building Museum.

Update (Jan. 17): One more in Trump’s column: Sam Moore, half of the legendary ’60s soul duo Sam and Dave, has signed on to perform at the inauguration. Mr. Moore made this statement: “As an American, I am honored to perform for President-elect Donald Trump,” says Moore. “I was a participant in the civil rights movement and have seen many positive changes and advancement in my 81 years of living in this wonderful Country, but I know we must all join hands and work together with our new President. I honestly believe that if we can accomplish this, the best is yet to come. We all as Americans need to unite behind our new President and give him a chance. He needs everyone’s support to make America greater, stronger and an even better Country.”

Update (Jan. 16): It’s now being reported that the Springsteen cover band is also pulling out, “out of respect to Bruce Springsteen.”

Update (Jan. 14): Jennifer Holliday today announced she was not going to perform. Paul Anka also withdrew his offer to participate.

Here is our original piece:
As the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump draws closer—it’s a week from today, on Jan. 20—the names of performers who will be taking part in events related to the historic occasion are beginning to leak out. Prior to today, the only artists confirmed for the Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration were the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and America’s Got Talent singer Jackie Evancho.

Today (Jan. 13), the Trump transition team upped the ante by announcing the addition of 3 Doors Down, the first rock group of note to take part, as well as country singers Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood. The concert, which will take place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on January 19, the day before the inauguration itself, will also feature Broadway singer Jennifer Holliday, the Piano Guys and the Frontmen of Country. Actor Jon Voight, currently a regular on the Showtime program Ray Donovan, is also said to be involved, although his role has not yet been divulged.

Also booked to perform is a Bruce Springsteen cover band called the B Street Band (at the New Jersey gala, naturally), as well as various local and school ensembles.

Related: What was on President Obama’s iPod?

Watch the B Street Band performing Bruce’s “The Promised Land”

A rumor was floated in the media today that Paul Anka, the 75-year-old singer/songwriter who wrote “My Way,” would perform a version of that song reworked for Trump, but Anka has yet to confirm or deny that rumor as of now.

In recent decades, presidents have all sought to attract name talent to their inaugurations. At his first inauguration, in 2009, President Barack Obama featured artists such as Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Jon Bon Jovi, U2, James Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Pete Seeger, Bettye LaVette and Beyoncé. Obama’s second inauguration in 2013 featured Wonder, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Soundgarden and Smokey Robinson. Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett performed at a staff-only ball held for White House aides.

Going back to previous administrations, Ricky Martin, Jessica Simpson and 98 Degrees were among those singing for George W. Bush in 2001. Bill Clinton, for his first presidential gala in 1993, welcomed Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand (who had also performed for George H.W. Bush in 1989), Elton John, a specially reunited Fleetwood Mac and Bob Dylan. Original rockers Chuck Berry and Little Richard also sang for the new president.

The Beach Boys were guests of Ronald Reagan in 1985 and Aretha Franklin, who has sung for every president since the ’70s, was a noted performer at Jimmy Carter’s 1977 inauguration as well as Obama’s first in 2009. Going further back, James Brown appeared at Richard Nixon’s inauguration in 1969 and Nat “King” Cole and Frank Sinatra both sang at John F. Kennedy’s in early 1961 and .

Watch
Bob Dylan sing “Chimes of Freedom” for incoming President Bill Clinton

Watch The Beach Boys at President Reagan’s 1985 inaugural ball

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  1. steve
    #1 steve 16 January, 2017, 23:57

    Jennifer Holliday has dropped out as well

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