Who's performing — and who’s not — at Trump's inauguration

The Radio City Rockettes will perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
The Radio City Rockettes will perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Two new musical acts were added to President-elect Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day lineup Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed performers for Jan. 20 to three.

Meanwhile, as reports of the Trump camp’s desperation to get A-list stars to perform at the ceremony grow, the list of musical artists who say they will not be there is much more lengthy.

Here’s the full rundown of people who will — and won’t — be in Washington D.C.


Jackie Evancho

Evancho is probably best known for her appearances on the fifth season of the reality TV contest show “America’s Got Talent.” A classial opera singer, Evancho was just 11 years old when she finished second on the show.

Since then, she has released five studio albums, including three Christmas albums, and performed for President Obama at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony and National Prayer Breakfast.

On Dec. 14, Evancho announced on The Today Show that she would perform the national anthem at Trump’s inauguration.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, comprised of 360 men and women who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has performed at five previous inaugurations, according to a press release on the choir’s website. The last time came in 2001 during the inaugural parade for George W. Bush. They will perform at Trump’s swearing-in ceremony.

The choir is based in Salt Lake City, where the Mormon church’s robust presence led many political analysts to suggest that Trump’s comments about women, feud with Mitt Romney and brash political style would struggle in the state. Independent candidate Evan McMullin even appeared to be pulling even in several polls before the election.

Trump, however, carried the state by almost 18 percentage points, though he earned just 45.5 percent of the vote, the worst performance by a Republican in the state since 1964.

The Radio City Rockettes

The Rockettes, founded in 1932, have performed at both inaugurations for George W. Bush, according to a statement put out by the group’s owner.

The dance group, which is famous for its synchronized high kicks, has been a New York City institution since the 1930s and are especially popular during the holiday season.

According to Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn, the Rockettes will be involved in the inauguration festivities, which means they are unlikely to perform at the actual swearing-in ceremony.

In the same interview with CNN, Epshteyn said “we are not putting on Woodstock,” pushing back against the notion that Trump has struggled to attract top-level talent despite his desire for the event to be a celebrity-studded affair. One media report even claimed Trump’s team has offered talent bookers ambassadorships if they can deliver a big name.

Not Performing

Kanye West

The controversial rapper has surprised fans and observers in the past month or so when he told concertgoers he would have voted for Trump in the election, when he met with Trump in New York City not long after being released from the hospital for a reported mental health crisis and when he later tweeted about his seeming admiration for the president-elect.

But West will not be performing Jan. 20, Tom Barrack Jr., the chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee, told CNN.

Elton John

In late November, reports that John, whose song “Tiny Dancer” was a fixture at many Trump rallies, would perform at the inauguration began to circulate. However, his publicist issued a strong denial to the New York Times. John had performed at a fundraiser for Trump’s opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, during the campaign.

Andrea Bocelli

The popular Italian singer is also a friend of Trump, but he will not sing at the inauguration.

Whether it was Bocelli or Trump who decided against it, however, is unclear. Barrack told CNBC that Bocelli offered to perform but Trump turned him down, but the New York Post reported that Bocelli decided not to do so over fears of a backlash.


According to TMZ, Gene Simmons, the frontman for the rock band KISS, will be touring in Europe at the time of the inauguration, but his wife said he would not perform anyway. Simmons, however, has expressed support for Trump in the past, per Rolling Stone.

Idina Menzel

Menzel, famous for her roles in the musical “Wicked” and the animated movie “Frozen,” told Vanity Fair that Trump’s scheduling woes were “karma” and that he might have to sing himself at the ceremony because “all the artists in the world got up and tried to get” Clinton elected.

The Chainsmokers

Brian Feldman, a writer for New York Magazine, tweeted out Dec. 15 that the pop group would be performing, but he later admitted the tweet was a joke and the band’s manager confirmed that the report was false.

Potentially performing

The Beach Boys

One of the most iconic bands in American musical history, The Beach Boys have been invited to perform by Trump, according to Billboard. However, the band has not decided whether it will accept the invitation.

Kid Rock

The rock musician has expressed support for Trump in the past in an interview with Rolling Stone, but there have been no reports yet that he will perform.

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