The days leading up to Donald Trump's inauguration as 45th president of the United States prove increasingly difficult as more performers cancel their inauguration performances, including Jennifer Holliday and the B Street Band, and more Democrats refuse to attend Trump's inauguration.
Trump's inauguration has faced numerous problems booking performers, including the Radio City Rockettes. The Rockettes gained social media support after it was reported the dance troupe were being forced to perform for Trump. Now, the last minute changes continue for the week of Trump's inauguration.
Jennifer Holliday, Dreamgirls actress and Broadway star, was originally scheduled to perform at Trump's pre-inauguration festivities, but on Saturday, Holliday announced she would no longer perform. Originally, Holliday cited her LGBTQ fan base for the cancellation.
According to Jezebel, Holliday wrote in part of her official statement, "I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country… Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence." Holliday continued, "I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans."
Although Holliday originally said she cancelled her performance because of fan concerns, TMZ reports that Holliday received death threats for her engagement at the Trump inauguration. A representative for Holliday told the Inauguration Committee that the Dreamgirls star would not perform for the safety of her family.
"It was all of those things. She wasn't scared to perform. She didn't want to put her family at risk based on the death threats and she also didn't want to offend the LGBT community which was especially upset that a past ally would perform on a program with President-elect Donald Trump," Holliday's representative said in a statement to TMZ.
In addition to Holliday dropping out, B Street Band, a Bruce Springsteen cover band, also announced they were cancelling their inauguration performance. The B Street Band was scheduled to play the New Jersey Inaugural Ball, hosted by Trump supporter Governor Chris Christie. The B Street Band was booked because their inspiration, Bruce Springstein, refused to play the event and is adamantly anti-Trump. Springstein performed at fundraisers for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.
"With deepest apologies to our fans and the New Jersey Inaugural Ball committee, the B Street Band is withdrawing from performing at this year's inauguration gala. Our decision is based SOLELY on the respect and gratitude we have for Bruce and the E Street Band," the B Street Band wrote on their official website. "Bruce's music has been the foundation of our livelihood. The B Street Band would not exist without the talents of Bruce and our E Street brothers. We are most grateful to these rock legends and look forward to many more years of emulating and performing the Forever Music, of Bruce Springsteen."
Two cancellations in two days is a blow to the Trump inauguration committee. But, in addition to Holliday and B Street Band dropping off the bill, numerous Democrats have also vowed to boycott the inauguration. According to USA Today, Democrats from at least 16 states have expressed their anti-Trump stance and will not be attending the inauguration.
Some notable Democrats avoiding Trump's inauguration include Georgia congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, Minnesota representative Keith Ellison, Ohio representative Marcia Fudge, and several California representatives. Some Democrats echoed John Lewis's statement that Trump was not a "legitimate president," while others cited Trump's sexual assault history and his threat to constitutional values.
"We all heard the tape when Donald Trump was bragging – bragging! – about grabbing women by their private parts without their consent," Illinois representative Luis V. Gutierrez told CNN in December. "It is something I can never un-hear."
The number of Democrats pledging to boycott the election increased after President-elect Trump attacked John Lewis on Twitter, saying the Georgia representative should worry about his district, which was "crime infested." Trump also said that Lewis was all talk and no action, a statement that was quickly rebuked by Lewis' supporters.
Although the Trump inauguration has numerous performance cancellations and boycotts, the event will be attended by all living former presidents except George H.W. Bush. Performers Three Doors Down and Toby Keith are also still scheduled to perform at Trump's pre-inauguration festivities.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]