The Mark Burnett-led team planning Donald Trump’s inauguration events tried but failed to book Celine Dion, TheWrap has learned.
An individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap that longtime Trump friend and Las Vegas hotelier Steve Wynn had promised to deliver the French Canadian hitmaker for the January 20 festivities, but could not do so.
A spokesman for Wynn denied the claims, saying “Mr. Wynn was not asked to book specific performers for the inauguration, nor did he ever a make a commitment to find specific performers.”
Dion did not immediately responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.
This isn’t the first time Wynn couldn’t deliver on his promises to the president-elect’s inauguration team.
A Hollywood insider, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told TheWrap that Wynn had also tried to wrangle country star Garth Brooks for the events in Washington, D.C.
But another individual close to the situation said that the singer declined the offer even though he had signed a reported multimillion-dollar deal in 2009 for a four-year residency at one of Wynn’s Las Vegas properties.
As TheWrap first reported, Trump’s inaugural team has had a rough time booking A-listers for its inaugural balls. Several high-caliber performers have already publicly rejected requests to take part in the January 20 festivities, including Dion, Brooks, Elton John, and operatic singer Andrea Bocelli.
A knowledgeable individual said Bocelli met with the president-elect and agreed to perform, but then bowed out under pressure from fans.
According to one Hollywood insider, many of those approached have said they do not want to “normalize” Trump’s presidency.
The only person confirmed to perform at the event so far is Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old “America’s Got Talent” contestant first discovered by Canadian songwriter and music producer David Foster. She is set to sing the national anthem before Trump takes the oath of office.
As TheWrap reported on Wednesday, Trump is so displeased with his team’s inability to lock in A-list talent that he’s ordered a “Hail Mary” shakeup of his recruiters to try to book performers, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Mark Burnett, who produces “Celebrity Apprentice” with Trump and has been overseeing entertainment for inauguration festivities, has brought in talent recruiter Suzanne Bender, a former “Dancing With the Stars” and “American Idol” booker, to end an effective freeze-out by Hollywood, the insider said.
Trump’s team denied it’s having any issues booking top artists.
“First class entertainers are eager to participate in the inaugural events,” Boris Epshteyn, communications director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee told TheWrap in an email on Wednesday. “The inauguration as a whole will be an exciting and uniting celebration of freedom and democracy. We will be releasing further details at the appropriate time.”