In early December, Garth Brooks implied that he might be willing to perform at President-elect Donald Trump's Inauguration ceremony, but reversed course shortly after. On Monday night, January 16th, Brooks explained the reason why in a new Facebook Live chat.
Sporting a beard, beanie cap and overalls during his weekly Inside Studio G series, Brooks addressed the issue almost immediately, after learning from his production team that the question was being asked by almost three-quarters of the assembled commenters.
Brooks says he was performing at New York City's Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting when, he recalls, a TMZ reporter broached the subject of singing at the Inauguration.
"The response was, 'It's always an honor to serve,'" Brooks says. "But I wasn't asked at that point. Come to find out, [Las Vegas hotel mogul] Steve Wynn becomes the point guy to get that [lineup] done. Steve is my brother and I love him to death. So he approached me and we sat down and talked about it, and we left it up to karma."
And, more specifically, his tour schedule, which was set to bring him to Ohio around Inauguration weekend.
"We said, 'If Cincinnati goes two weekends instead of one, of course we're out,'" Brooks says. "Sure enough, Cincinnati did five shows, two weekends, and backed us up into it and we got knocked out of it."
For three years Brooks has been booking his record-smashing World Tour as he goes. The dates now scheduled for Cincinnati's US Bank Arena include January 21st, 22nd, 27th, 28th and 29th.
Brooks has performed for the two previous presidents, as part of the lineup of Barack Obama's 2009 Inauguration concert and singing at a Kennedy Center event to honor George W. Bush in 2010. On Facebook, he went on to say the nation needs to come together now more than ever.
"I'll tell you what with this whole presidential thing, we've got one going out and I pray for him and his family," he says. "And for the president going in, I pray for him and his family to guide this nation. Let's stay together – love, unity, that's what it’s all about. In the immortal words of Martin Luther King, the most durable power that we've known is love. It will always be that way.
"So again, I can't thank the Obamas enough for serving this country, and may God hold Trump's hand in the decisions he makes in the country's name as well."
Confirmed performers for President-elect Trump's Inauguration include Toby Keith, rock band 3 Doors Down, patriotic country singer Lee Greenwood, 16-year-old America's Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho, the Radio City Rockettes and the Morman Tabernacle Choir.
3 Doors Down and country singers Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood will perform at Donald Trump's Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.