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Donald Trump’s inauguration lineup has added new performers that somehow make it worse

Reuters/Adrees Latif
Country strong.
  • Amy X. Wang
By Amy X. Wang


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

A handful of new musicians have been added to Donald Trump’s imminent inauguration—dubbed by the president-elect a ”GREAT SHOW,” while thought of by almost everyone else as possibly the worst Super Bowl halftime lineup ever.

Trump’s inaugural committee yesterday announced the addition of country artist Toby Keith and southern rock band 3 Doors Down along with a few smaller acts. Inauguration performers, at both the official event and various D.C. balls around it, now include:

Jennifer Holliday, despite having her name announced by the inaugural committee, has actually “been asked to perform but hasn’t officially agreed to do so yet,” according to her publicist. (Update, Jan. 14: She isn’t performing after some “alarming and overwhelming” hate mail.)

The odd mash-up of performers at next week’s event—and its slow, painful roll-out, as organizers continue to insist they are securing A-list names despite all evidence to the contrary—has been heartily mocked on social media. It certainly pales in contrast to the starry lineup at both of Barack Obama’s inaugurations, which included Aretha Franklin, Shakira, and Beyoncé.

The list of musicians who’ve publicly turned down the chance to perform at Trump’s event is also somehow growing longer every day.

Trump and his team, though, stand firm on the inauguration’s popularity. “All the dress shops are sold out in Washington,” Donald Trump boasted to the New York Times last week. (They are actually not.) An organizer described the affair as one of “soft sensuality” (intention unclear); Trump spokesman Boris Epshteyn has also said in defense of the muted lineup, “We are not putting on Woodstock.”

Barack Obama, meanwhile, ended his term by partying at the White House with Jay Z, Beyoncé, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, and a slate of Hollywood-ites earlier this month. The affair, according to Mike Allen’s Axios newsletter, stretched well into 4 a.m., with several A-list celebrities mourning: “We don’t know when we’ll be back.”

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