Garth Brooks Explains Why He Won’t Play at Donald Trump’s Inauguration
Garth Brooks has clarified his reasons for not performing at the upcoming inauguration of Donald Trump.
The country megastar was challenged on his decision not to perform at the President-elect's inauguration during his weekly Inside Studio G Facebook live chat on Monday night (Jan. 16). When some of his more conservative fans asked him about it, saying they were "very disappointed" at the decision, Brooks explained that it came down to his touring schedule.
In December, Brooks told TMZ that he would consider playing at the inauguration if he was asked, adding, "It's always about serving. It's what you do." But at the time he had not been asked, and later, when his good friend Steve Wynn -- who runs the Wynn Las Vegas where Brooks performed a residency -- joined Trump's inaugural team and extended the invitation, Brooks had to contend with the fact that tickets for his current World Tour were on sale for his shows in Cincinnati. If sales were as strong as they had been in other markets, he might have to extend his run, which would conflict with the Trump event.
"We left it up to karma. If Cincinnati goes two weekends instead of one, then of course we are out," Brooks shares.
That's exactly what ended up happening, when the superstar was forced to add three more shows to satisfy demand in Cincinnati, effectively tying up his schedule the weekend of the inauguration.
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Brooks did not weigh in on the bitterly-contested 2016 election as far as who he voted for, but during Monday's Facebook stream he did share some words for both the outgoing and incoming presidents.
“I’ll tell you with this whole presidential thing: We got one going out. Pray for him and his family. And for the president going in, pray for him and his family to guide this nation. Let’s stay together,” Brooks says. "Love, unity -- that's what it's all about."
"We can't thank the Obamas enough for serving this country," he adds. "And may God hold Trump's hand in the decisions that he makes in this country's name as well."
Monday was MLK Day, and Brooks also invoked his legacy, saying, “In the immortal words of Martin Luther King, the most durable power that we’ve known is love. It will always be that way."
Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood are among the performers for Trump's Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration, which is set to take place at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 19. Former Little Texas vocalist Tim Rushlow, Lonestar singer Richie McDonald and Restless Heart’s Larry Stewart will also perform together at the event as the Frontmen of Country. Big & Rich and Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox are slated to perform at other functions related to the inauguration.
Donald Trump will be sworn into office as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20.
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