UPDATE: Holliday has canceled plans to perform at the inauguration.
First it was yes, then it was a maybe … But the “I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” singer now says she will in fact be going to Donald Trump’s inaugural festivities later this month.
“It’s now confirmed,” Holliday’s publicist Bill Carpenter told TheWrap late Friday afternoon. “She will perform there.”
Carpenter did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on why Holliday was hesitant to accept the invitation to perform. But on Friday, Holliday told the New York Times that she had been “startled and disheartened” by the “venom that greeted the news of her participation.”
“It brought a lot of threats from people already saying I’ll never work again,” she said. “If that’s what America has come to, where we all hate and bully people, there’s no more freedom of speech.”
According to the Times, Holliday “sounded certain about her choice.” But her publicist told TheWrap exclusively that she had not yet committed to the event.
As TheWrap previously reported, the Tony and Grammy winning actress and singer came under fire on Friday after it was announced that she would perform at a concert as part of Donald Trump’s inauguration next week.
“I know times are hard but damn that can’t be THAT hard. So disappointed in you,” a fan named Chanel wrote on Twitter.
Holliday was announced along with Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, Lee Greenwood and other entertainers as performers in a Jan. 19 event at the Lincoln Memorial dubbed “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.”
Many fans were surprised by the inclusion of Holliday, best known as the original Effie White in Broadway’s original production of “Dreamgirls,” who has been a darling of the Broadway and LGBT communities for decades.
Friday’s announcement was significant because Trump has had so much trouble booking inauguration talent. As TheWrap first reported, two talent bookers said Trump’s team had even offered ambassadorships in an attempt to wrangle A-list talent. Many of those approached have said they do not want to “normalize” Trump’s presidency.
Singer Paul Anka said Friday he would have to back out of plans to sing “My Way,” but said it was because of a scheduling conflict, not any political reason.
I know times are hard but damn that can't be THAT hard. So disappointed in you#JenniferHolliday
— Chanel (@AwkwrdButterfly) January 13, 2017