Garth Brooks, who recently left the door open to the possibility of an inaugural performance for Donald Trump, says he will sit this one out, a person with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.
The insider would not elaborate on why Brooks declined to perform.
As TheWrap first reported, the county singer was perhaps Trump’s only hope for a crossover performer at his inauguration, with many A-list stars refusing to perform at the presidential inauguration ceremonies in late January.
Earlier this month, Brooks told TMZ that he would be open to performing, if asked.
“It’s always about serving. It’s what you do,” Brooks told TMZ.
Brooks’ publicist declined to comment.
On Tuesday, Trump met with Kanye West, setting off a frenzied speculation about whether the rapper would perform at one of the inaugural events. However, West declined to comment when asked about it by reporters who were camped out at Manhattan’s Trump Tower, where West met Trump.
He later tweeted that the meeting was focused on “multicultural issues,” including bullying, education and violence in Chicago.
This isn’t the first time a big-name star has declined to perform at Trump’s inaugural balls.
Last month, The New York Times reported that a representative for Elton John, who supported Hillary Clinton, issued a stern statement denying his client had agreed to perform at the inauguration after a member of Trump’s transition team said the “Rocket Man” singer would take the stage.
“Incorrect. He will NOT be performing,” the publicist wrote, using all-caps for good measure.
Donald Trump’s inaugural committee is scrambling to lock in A-list Hollywood performers for the parties celebrating him — and having a rough time booking big names.
Two Hollywood insiders told TheWrap that Trump’s inaugural committee members have contacted them in recent days offering cash or even a government appointment if they could deliver marquee names.
“They are willing to pay anything,” one of the insiders told TheWrap.
The insider said the Trump negotiator also offered to pay him for delivering top talent, saying, “Name your price.”
Trump’s team issued a denial to TheWrap.
“No one with any official position at, or official relationship with, the Presidential Inaugural Committee, is engaging in the conduct described,” Boris Epshteyn, spokesman for Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee, said. “We are focused on organizing an exciting and uniting celebration of freedom and democracy while following all rules, regulations and appropriate standards of conduct.”
Another Hollywood insider, who also asked not to be named, told TheWrap that the Inaugural Committee was in talks with Kid Rock, Ted Nugent and Lee Greenwood.
But, according to the insider, the inauguration team is hoping for “artists like Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars,” adding: “They’re calling managers, agents, everyone in town to see who they can get, and it’s been problematic.”