“I don’t apologize for performing for our country or military,” Keith said in a statement. “I performed at events for previous presidents Bush and Obama and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO.”
The concert, taking place on the steps of Washington, D.C.’s Lincoln Memorial on January 19th, will also feature Broadway singer Jennifer Holliday (recently of The Color Purple), the Piano Guys and the Frontmen of Country, the Trump administration announced Friday. Actor Jon Voight will also participate in some capacity at the event, which is open to the public.
Greenwood, who sang his 1984 single “God Bless the U.S.A.” at the inaugurations of Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush, said in a statement, “I’m honored to be part of history again and sing for President-elect Donald Trump. This is a time to overcome challenges in our country and band together.”
“President-elect Trump has made it clear that this inaugural is of, by and for the American people. The 58th Inaugural will celebrate American history and heritage, while setting the course to a brighter and bolder future for all Americans,” Tom Barrack, Trump’s chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said in a statement. “Above all, it will serve as tribute to one of our greatest attributes: the peaceful transition of partisan power.”
The Make America Great Again! artists join performers like the Rockettes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and America’s Got Talent singer Jackie Evancho (but not Moby) as participants in Trump’s inauguration plans.
Members of both the Rockettes and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir have expressed concern and disappointment about performing at the inauguration. “Looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and facism [sic] by singing for this man,” Jan Chamberlin, a five-year veteran of the choir, wrote to choir president Ron Jarrett.
Evancho’s appearance – she’ll perform the national anthem at the inauguration – comes even as the singer’s family fights for transgender rights on behalf of Evancho’s sister, who won’t be in attendance for the Republican president’s swearing-in.