British singers Charlotte Church and Rebecca Ferguson have turned down invitations to perform at U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20.
In a post on Twitter, Church explained the reason why she refused to perform on Trump's inauguration, calling the billionaire a "tyrant." Ferguson, on the other hand, said the committee handling the event would not allow her to sing Billy Holiday's "Strange Fruit," a song which condemns the violence against African-Americans in the late 1930s, USA Today relays.
"I requested to sing 'Strange Fruit,' as I felt it was the only song that would not compromise my artistic integrity and also as somebody who has a lot of love for all people, but has a special empathy as well for African American people and the #blacklivesmatter movement, I wanted to create a moment of pause for people to reflect," Ferguson said in a statement posted on her website.
@realDonaldTrump Your staff have asked me to sing at your inauguration, a simple Internet search would show I think you're a tyrant. Bye
The day after Church rejected the invitation to perform at Trump's inauguration, DJ Moby revealed on Instagram that he, too, made the same decision. In a rant on the social network, he said a booking agent had asked him if he would consider being a DJ at Trump's inaugural ball, and he said "no," the Telegraph reports.
In October, Elton John told Mic that the prospect of a Trump presidency made him "fear for the world" in the context of treating HIV. He was reportedly invited to perform in the event, but his team has already declined.
Last month, Inaugural Committee director of communications Boris Epshteyn brushed off concerns about the sparse number of performers in the ceremony. He told CNN that Trump's inauguration is neither Woodstock nor a concert.
As of now, the list of artists confirmed to perform on Trump's inauguration ceremony is still short. This includes Jackie Evancho, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Talladega College Marching Tornadoes and the Rockettes.