In the most surreal turn of events in the course of human civilisation, tangerine business tycoon and reality TV star Donald Trump is soon to be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. And, as he prepares to take office as arguably the most unpopular President of all time, he also looks set to host the worst inauguration party in recent history.
The Trump inauguration concert has become something of a running joke in recent weeks, with just about every major artist either rejecting the new leader’s overtures or publicly ruling themselves out of any potential involvement. Elton John, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Moby, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Church and even Bruce Springsteen tribute act The B Street Band are just some of those to have declined or distanced themselves from offers to perform at the event.
So who actually is taking the stage to welcome Trump to the White House?
Well, US country legend Toby Keith is on the bill, along with 3 Doors Down, Lee Greenwood, Jackie Evancho and a few, er, shall we say lesser known acts. Among them are The Radio City Rockettes, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, The Frontmen of Country, The Piano Guys, Tim Rushlow & His Big Band and Big & Rich.
Compare that the pulling power of outgoing President Barack Obama and the contrast is glaring.
Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, U2, John Legend, Shakira, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Herbie Hancock, Mary J Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow and Will.i.am, Aretha Franklin and Kelly Clarkson all turned out to perform across Obama’s two inauguration bashes.
Former President Bill Clinton also drew some of the world’s top music talent for his White House welcome, with Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan Barbara Streisand, Elton John and Fleetwood Mac among those who performed at his swearing in.
Even George W. Bush Jr managed to pull in a few more A-listers than fellow Republican Trump, whose inauguration featured performances from Ricky Martin, Jessica Simpson and Destiny’s Child.
So who knows? Perhaps the new President’s unprecedented unpopularity with the stars will spawn some exciting new music. Earlier today, Gorrilaz dropped a brand new anti-Trump track, while Fiona Apple recently released the aptly titled Tiny Hands. And it’s entirely possible that plenty more protest songs will land in their droves throughout the course of 2017. As a certain protest signer once said, the times they are a-changing…
For more on how a Trump government might affect the music business, click here.