Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The 2017 Trump Inauguration: No Bruce, Aretha, Sting, Stevie Wonder, or Oscar Winners at the Parties


Do you remember the 2009 Inauguration of Barack Obama? Aretha Franklin sang “My Country Tis of Thee.” There were dozens of galas and balls. Sting and Stevie Wonder performed on ABC special where the Obamas danced together. Sting, Elvis Costello and Sam Moore were featured at the Creative Coalition gala, and were later joined by Warren Haynes and members of the Allman Brothers Band.

There were plenty of Hollywood A listers, too: Bono and U2, Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey,  Beyoncé, Steven Spielberg, and Tiger Woods were among the guests. At The Huffington Post party, I remember hanging out with Gerard Butler. It was, all in all, quite a weekend.

The 2017 Trump Inaugural will not be similar. I can remember, for example, that getting a hotel room that weekend in Washington DC was like panning for gold. There are plenty of rooms on and other sites, all reasonably priced.

But what about celebrities? Most of the people I listed supported Hillary Clinton. Even for good money, they won’t come to this Inauguration. Movie stars? Jon Voight is likely. Gary Sinise (from TV). Sylvester Stallone is unlikely. You might get Patricia Heaton from TV. Bruce Willis? Eh. Clint Eastwood, although a Republican, doesn’t seem like a Trump guy. Plus he’ll be doing Oscar promotions for “Sully.”

And Music? Well, there’s Ted Nugent, so disgusting and awful that I doubt the networks will want him to perform. There will be no Springsteen, no Stevie, no Sting, no Aretha, no Alicia. I doubt there’s a black act who will show up. There could be some country stars, but the good ones will stay away. Kid Rock might show up. But then again, even singers who identify as Republican may not want to be associated with Trump.

Of course, there’s usually a poet laureate like the late Maya Angelou. Trump’s equivalent? Scott Baio aka Chachi from “Happy Days.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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