President-elect Trump has been having a very difficult time finding musicians to commit to performing during his inauguration concert. The celebrities aren’t unpatriotic, they just don’t necessarily want to involve themselves with all the things Trump stands for. In fact, Jennifer Holliday just canceled her inauguration performance for that exact reason.
Holliday portrayed Effie White in the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls, so her powerful voice would have surely been a welcomed addition to the lineup.
On Friday, Trump’s inauguration team prematurely announced that Holliday would be performing, along with Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, Lee Greenwood and other entertainers at the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” being held at the Lincoln Memorial on January 19th.
Holliday’s publicist Bill Carpenter explained to The Wrap that she had not yet committed to the event when her inclusion was announced.
After receiving intense criticism from her fans, many of whom are members of the LGBTQ+ community, Holliday decided to completely remove herself from any involvement with Trump’s inauguration.
Holliday wrote a letter explaining her reasons for pulling out of the performance, which she provided to The Wrap.
Her letter begins with a direct address to the LGBT community, explaining that she’s before sung for presidents from either side of the aisle. She wanted to focus on using her talent as a way to bring people together.
But, upon further reflection, she couldn’t bring herself to support the celebration of a person with views so different from her own.
She decided the performance wasn’t worth isolating her supportive fanbase and apologized to them. She praised them for opening up about how her choice made them feel and assured them she’s grateful for their ongoing support.
It’s a beautiful and thoughtful letter.
And she has our full support.