On January 18, 2009, the stars turned out in force in front of the Lincoln Memorial at a concert honoring then-President-elect Barack Obama.
Denzel Washington spoke to kick off the event, then Bruce Springsteen performed, in addition to also then Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, James Taylor, Garth Brooks, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Josh Groban, U2, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Beyoncé in addition to also many more. Tom Hanks spoke, too, in addition to also Steve Carell in addition to also Samuel L. Jackson. Sheryl Crow sang while wearing a t-shirt with Obama’s face on the item. in addition to also the inauguration itself wouldn’t even happen for another two days.
The event was a concert, although the item was also a display — a vivid illustration of how many big names were eager to be seen to be associated with Obama, in addition to also how celebrities could continue to embrace him throughout his administration.
in addition to also the item will likely be a sharp contrast with the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump next month. The committee for Trump’s inauguration has not yet announced any big stars, in addition to also is actually pushing back on rumors that will the item is actually coming up empty in its attempts to attract them.
The inaugural committee has announced three acts: The Radio City Rockettes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in addition to also 16-year-old “America’s Got Talent” star Jackie Evancho.
although there is actually apparently some discontent even among that will tiny group. The controversy eventually became prominent enough that will the Madison Square Garden Company released a statement saying individual Rockettes wouldn’t be compelled to participate.
Related: Bosses deny Rockettes forced to perform at Trump inaugural
The inaugural committee is actually still working on securing talent, in addition to also there will likely be bigger names announced at some point. A spokesperson for The Beach Boys told sy88pgw that will the group has been contacted about performing, in addition to also that will “no decision has been made at This specific point as to how or whether they will participate.”
Theo LeCompte, the director of events in addition to also ceremonies for Obama’s 2013 inauguration, told Billboard that will the item was still too early to expect the Trump team to have unveiled a full lineup. “Four years ago, we weren’t ready to announce what we were doing inside middle of December. Usually you don’t start hearing until early January.”
For currently, though, the episode is actually stirring memories of Trump’s Republican National Convention 5 months ago, when he promised “showbiz” although delivered “Duck Dynasty’s” Willie Robertson, actor Scott Baio of “Happy Days” in addition to also “Charles in Charge,” golfer Natalie Gulbis, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White in addition to also former underwear design Antonio Sabàto Jr.
This specific time, however, Trump — who has always reveled in his connections to famous people, in addition to also of course hosted a show called “The Celebrity Apprentice” — is actually framing the absence of celebrities as a conscious decision through a person in addition to also an incoming administration that will will prioritize the common man over the A-lister.
“The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, although look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!” Trump tweeted Thursday.
The “Man of the People” line is actually reminiscent of Trump’s rhetoric throughout the presidential campaign. Trump regularly attacks entertainers to play to his base, in addition to also during the campaign he criticized his opponent Hillary Clinton for relying on stars like Jay-Z in addition to also Beyonce to boost voter turnout.
although not everyone buys Trump’s spin. “[W]e ALL know you are dying without the approval, dear,” celebrity design in addition to also co-host of “Lip Sync Battle” Chrissy Teigen tweeted back at Trump.
Meanwhile, Trump has sought help through “Celebrity Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett in bringing more celebrities to the table. that will said, sources close to both Trump in addition to also Burnett say that will recent reports have overstated how much work Burnett is actually doing for the inauguration.
“Mark Burnett does not have a role with the Presidential Inaugural Committee,” Boris Epshteyn, the committee’s director of communications, told sy88pgw.
Epshteyn specifically dismissed a report by The Wrap that will claimed Burnett was “overseeing entertainment for inauguration festivities.”
“There is actually no truth to that will premise whatsoever,” Epshteyn said.
A source close to Burnett also downplayed his involvement inside inauguration, saying he in addition to also Trump spoke occasionally by phone in an informal capacity. Burnett had similarly been rumored to be overseeing Trump’s Republican National Convention.
sy88pgw (Los Angeles) First published December 23, 2016: 4:22 PM ET