Donald Trump struggling to secure talent to perform at inauguration (FoxNews.com link): Getting singers for Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20th is turning out to be harder than it was to fill his Cabinet.
The only confirmed talent so far are 16-year-old "America’s Got Talent" 2010 runner-up Jackie Evancho, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Rockettes.
Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway insisted to ABC News there will be more singers, but refused to name them. Many performers -- some who have been asked, others who have not -- have already taken a pass.
* Gene Simmons' wife told TMZ KISS "politely declined" the invitation to perform at the inauguration. Simmons said he would be touring Europe at the time.
* Trump's longtime friend Steve Wynn reportedly promised to deliver Celine Dion to perform at the inauguration, but could not follow through.
* Producer David Foster released a statement “politely declining” the offer to participate in the inauguration after rumors swirled he was participating.
* Elton John told the New York Times he was not performing after Anthony Scaramucci, a member of the presidential transition team, told the BBC the singer would sing a song or two.
* Page Six reported that Andrea Bocelli will not perform because of the backlash he received over accepting the gig. They also reported that President-Elect Trump suggested the tenor not participate because of said backlash.
* Variety and the NY Post have reported that Garth Brooks will not perform at the inauguration after he said earlier this month he "would be honored" to perform. Brooks did not return FOX411’s request for comment.
* The manager for the band Chainsmokers had to respond to New York Magazine’s Brian Feldman after he tweeted the band was performing. They are not.
* “Will and Grace” star Eric McCormack told The Wrap he would perform at the inauguration, but only in exchange for a lobotomy, adding: "My whole brain removed from my head…I don’t know what the line-up will be, but I hear Scott Baio’s doing dramatic readings.”
Mod: However, all is not as it appears to be, even amongst some of those who have been enlisted in this celebratory cause. Apparently the Radio City Rockettes are not exactly thrilled at this great honor, and they have even turned to social media to find a way out of dancing for the man with the chemical tan.
Radio City Rockettes ‘Appalled’ Over Trump Inauguration Command Performance TheWrap.com link): The Radio City Rockettes dancers are pushing back after being told they must perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration, TheWrap has learned.
The announcement by parent company Madison Square Garden Company boss James Dolan on Thursday quickly spread through social media and sparked outrage among some Rockettes and members of the Broadway community.
Phoebe Pearl, a Rockette, wrote on her private Instagram account:
“I usually don’t use social media to make a political stand but I feel overwhelmed with emotion. Finding out that it has been decided for us that Rockettes will be performing at the Presidential inauguration makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed. The women I work with are intelligent and are full of love and the decision of performing for a man that stands for everything we’re against is appalling. I am speaking for just myself but please know that after we found out this news, we have been performing with tears in our eyes and heavy hearts. We will not be forced! #notmypresident”
An individual who worked for the Rockettes told TheWrap: “Forcing dozens of women to go and perform for this man is without a question going to be problematic.”
The individual said the Rockettes usually have about 36 dancers, with 12 employed full time and the rest freelance. Those employed full-time would presumably be required to perform at any gig booked by the outfit’s management.
Others said that the Rockettes were being forced to perform and that their union told them that they would lose their jobs if they resisted.
Duarte, an actress and commentator whose Facebook page identifies her as the creator, producer and host of “Dead Darlings,” wrote on her social media accounts: “Most of the Rockettes do not want to perform at the inauguration. AGVA, their union, has put in writing to the full time Rockettes that they must accept the inauguration gig or they will lose their jobs. It’s perfect, actually. What could be more fitting for this inauguration than forcing a group of women to do something with their bodies against their will?”
Mod: Ouch! However, it should never be said that all women have a problem with Donald Trump. That is obviously not the case. Here is someone who has courageously decided to speak out.
Saddam Hussein’s daughter heaps praise on Trump: ‘This man has a high level of political sensibility’ (Raw Story link): President-elect Donald Trump once praised the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for his prowess at killing terrorists — and now Saddam’s daughter is returning the favor with compliments of her own.
CNN reports that Raghad Saddam Hussein has been pleased so far with what she’s seen from the president-elect, who during the campaign trail falsely claimed that he had been against the Iraq War from the very beginning.
“This man has just arrived to the leadership… but from what is apparent, this man has a high level of political sensibility, that is vastly different than the one who preceded him,” she said in an interview with CNN. “He exposed the mistakes of the others, specifically in terms of Iraq, which means he is very aware of the mistakes made in Iraq and what happened to my father.”
Raghad also shared Trump’s view that her father was very tough on terrorists, and said that there’s no way that groups like Islamic State would have been able to set up shop in Iraq if he were still in power.
“Yes, there was brutality, sometimes a lot of it and I can’t support brutality,” she explained. “But Iraq is a country that is difficult to rule and it’s only now that people are realizing it.”