Andrea Bocelli, amidst backlash from fans, has decided to drop his scheduled performance at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on January 20, 2017.
The famed tenor who has sold millions of albums worldwide was slated to be the major star performer at the ceremony, but fans took to social media to demand he reject the invite. A #BoycottBocelli became the rage throughout Monday and it seems that the artist, not looking to put his career and standing in peril, opted for listening to fans. The report was first made by Page Six.
The publication writes, “A source said that, by Monday, Bocelli said there was no way he’d take the gig . . . he was ‘getting too much heat’ and he said no.’”
CNBC reports that Tom Barrack, chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, noted that Bocelli approached Trump about singing in inauguration but the President elect himself turned down the offer out of respect for the singer.
“Bocelli and his wife … have been friends of Trump since the very beginning,” Tom Barrack is reported to have said. [But] Donald said, ‘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.'”
Trump, who is rather vocal about anything that displeases him via his Twitter account, has yet to make any comment on the situation.
According to the Boston Globe, the organizers of the event have struggled to get anyone to participate in the inauguration. John Legend and Elton John were outspoken in their desire to avoid the inauguration at all costs.
It is customary for celebrities to perform at the inauguration, though Trump has proven a polarizing figure among the mainstream.