Another day, another major rejection for President-elect Donald Trump. According to a report from the Wrap, superstar Celine Dion has turned down requests to perform on the day of his election. Las Vegas hotelier Steve Wynn, a longtime friend of Trump’s who has worked with Dion before, reportedly promised to secure the singer for the big day. Alas, he’ll have to say au revoir to that idea—the Canadian chanteuse isn’t doing it.
Representatives for Dion and the inauguration committee have not yet responded to Vanity Fair’s request for comment.
The rejection comes on the heels of news that another superstar, Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, is reportedly no longer being considered for the event. However, this wasn’t a rejection, according to Trump’s inaugural committee chairman Thomas J. Barrack Jr. Bocelli actually offered his services, you see, which Trump kindly turned down.
“The Bocellis came to him and said, ‘Look, if it would be helpful to you, if you would like us to perform, we would consider it,’ ” Barrack said in an interview. “And 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.’”
Another act that reportedly turned down the Donald? None other than rock band Kiss. Gene Simmons‘s wife Sophie Tweedtold TMZ Wednesday night that Trump’s team asked the band to perform, but Kiss “politely declined” the offer.
Whatever the president-elect says, it’s no secret that Trump’s team has struggled to get any A-listers to play at his presidential party. It’s gotten to the point where his team has reportedly dangled cash offers and ambassadorships, though Boris Epshteyn, the communications director for the inaugural committee, has sharply denied those claims. “There is no truth to this insinuation. First-class entertainers are eager to participate in the inaugural events. The inauguration as a whole will be an exciting and uniting celebration of freedom and democracy.”
However, the Wrap also reported that Trump is so displeased with the inability to get A-listers that he’s “ordered a ‘Hail Mary’ shakeup of his recruiters to try to book performers.” Former American Idol and Dancing with the Stars booker Suzanne Bender has reportedly been brought in, Olivia Pope-style, to appeal to some top-tier talent. “Trump is very unhappy,” a source told the Wrap. “Bender has been tasked with salvaging this . . . it’s a Hail Mary.”
Thus far, the only secured singer is opera talent Jackie Evancho, the 16-year-old America’s Got Talent star who went on to launch a successful solo career. Evancho has performed at political events before, previously singing at the National Prayer and the Christmas Tree Lighting for President Barack Obama. In an interview with the Today show, Evancho said she was “honored” to perform, but has since gone on to say she’s been cyber-bullied for accepting Trump’s offer. Nevertheless, the intrepid young singer says she’s still excited. “I feel like it’s going to be a big audience, and I love big audiences,” she told People.
Culled from Vanity Fair