Earlier this month, TMZ reported that Andrea Bocelli had been tapped to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration next month — one of the few artists willing to participate in the wannabe politician’s big event. However, in a new interview on CNBC, the chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee has stated that that’s no longer the case.
According to Thomas J. Barrack Jr., Bocelli had offered to play, but Trump decided to turn him down. “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’,” Barrack said.
The New York Post adds that Bocelli himself was considering pulling out of the gig due to the immense backlash he received on social media, but that it was Trump who ultimately axed the plans. Either way, it’s an interesting turn of events considering Trump has had such a difficult time locking in performers he’s reportedly turned to bribery as an option. (If my shortlist consisted of Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, and Garth Brooks, I would consider it, too.)
Though Bocelli is no Beyoncé, he’s sold over 80 million records worldwide, garnered both Grammy and Oscar nominations, and has star power that reaches both sides of the Atlantic.
At the moment, the only musician still confirmed to show up at Trump’s inauguration is America’s Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho, who is expected to sing the National Anthem. Maybe The Donald should think about asking the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Oh, wait…
Below, watch the CNBC interview about Bocelli.