Jennifer Holliday has decided that despite her love of America, she won’t be joining Donald Trump in making the country great on Jan. 20. The singer was one of several acts scheduled to perform on Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C., but she has since pulled out of the gig after intense backlash from fans.
Holliday appeared on “The View” Tuesday to discuss her decision publicly for the first time. The “I Am Changing” singer revealed that she’d only realized what a mistake she’d made by accepting the Trump administration’s invitation to perform at the ceremony, which will be far more intimate than those held by prior presidents, the day after the official announcement was made. Holliday, who claims she lives “a pretty reclusive life,” awoke to hateful messages on social media and instantly felt a sense of regret. She maintains, however, that she was not aware that agreeing to be a part of Trump’s big day “was a bad thing.”
“It was my really honest desire that my voice could be used — not everybody loves the way I sing, but still — my voice could be used as an instrument of healing and unity, and I thought I’ve had instructions from the Obamas and the Clintons that it was a go-ahead. We were going to do a ceasefire for one day, and I just thought it was OK,” she explained (via Us Weekly).
News of Holliday’s decision to cancel was made public on Jan. 14, through an open letter the singer wrote to her LGBTQ fans published by The Wrap. The Grammy award winner apologized for her “lapse of judgment,” claiming she was naive to the issues at hand. In addition to being apologetic about having agreed sing at Inauguration, Holliday said she was sorry “for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.”
Although Trump has repeatedly tweeted that his inauguration will be one of epic proportions, it has been widely reported that his lacks the starpower of those prior. It appears to also have a smaller budget. On Tuesday, TMZ reported that the Trump team was forced to cut negotiations with an undisclosed, but allegedly very famous, rock band to save money. Sources close to the team told the publication Trump decided not to pursue the band any further after learning that they wanted $1 million for the performance.
At this point little is known about which acts will be performing at Trump’s inauguration. Forbes reported that Toby Keith, Big & Rich, Jackie Evancho, some members of the Rockettes and 3 Doors Down, whom you may recall as having several hits in the 90s and early 2000s, will be taking the stage. A few others, including Lee Greenwood and Jon Voight, are also thought to be in the lineup as well.
Trump will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. A number of protests have been scheduled for the same day in D.C. and other major cities around the country.