As the inevitable celebration also known as the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump approaches, inaugural committee members are reportedly having difficulty locking in notable performers.
Insiders opened up to The Wrap this week about their concerns, pressing the administration is willing to pay six-figures to have the event go off without any glitches. “They are willing to pay anything,” the source said. “They told me, ‘We’ll pay their fees.’ Most of these artists’ fees are in the six to seven figures.” The insider said the Trump negotiator also offered to pay him for delivering top talent, saying, “Name your price.”
Except, payment to talent has never been a rule for the presidential event. Beyonce and Aretha Franklin were not paid for their respective inauguration performances, with the exception of travel and production costs. Another source familar with the process told the site, “I’ve never heard of talent being compensated nor have I heard of talent recruiters being compensated.”
Trump’s camp denied the claims but didn’t say if any names were confirmed to perform. “No one with any official position at, or official relationship with, the Presidential Inaugural Committee, is engaging in the conduct described,” said Boris Epshteyn, spokesman for Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee. “We are focused on organizing an exciting and uniting celebration of freedom and democracy while following all rules, regulations and appropriate standards of conduct.”?
Artists who have spoken out against Trump’s rhetoric include YG, Nipsey Hussle, Metro Boomin, John Legend and Elton John, who denied he was setting foot at the inauguration. Ne-Yo also took to social media Friday (Dec. 9) to also deny reports he would sing for the president-elect.
After running into TMZ photographers Thursday (Dec. 7), the singer joked about attending the event. “I wouldn’t go ’cause I support Donald Trump,” he said, “I’d go ’cause it’s a dope party.”
Maybe a Beatles cover band will suffice.