Al Green, the soul singer perhaps most famous for the hit Let’s Stay Together, was called upon to play the song at President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony yesterday — but the artist turned down the honor.
Al Green’s hit about giving it another try may have seemed appropriate on a few levels at the celebration this week. Firstly, Americans chose Obama overwhelmingly over challenger Mitt Romney despite enduring the throes of a continuing recession held over from the first administration.
Secondly, Al Green’s song was the subject of a brief snippet of musical performance from the President himself a while back, spontaneously broken into by Obama at Harlem’s Apollo Theater in a clip (below) that later went viral.
While a performance by Green would have been fitting under the circumstances, it was Jennifer Hudson who performed the classic at the Inauguration Ball, not Green. And while the singer is no Justin Bieber, his flak explains that Al was simply too busy to make time for an event like the President’s swearing in.
According to MSNBC, Green was forced to decline due to a scheduling conflict:
“In a statement to The Associated Press, his representative said Green had been asked to sing but that scheduling conflicts prevented him from attending Monday’s festivities. Green said he’d be honored to sing for the president in the future … The Presidential Inaugural Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”
Al Green or no, Obama and America indeed decided to “stay together” for another four years, and you can relive the Commander in Chief’s rendition of the song in the clip.