After conservative fans criticized him for turning down the chance to play at Donald Trump’s inauguration, Garth Brooks explained in a Facebook Live video why he wouldn’t be performing.
Brooks told fans that a scheduling conflict, not an ideological one, was the reason why he had to say no to an inauguration appearance.
According to Billboard, Brooks told friend Steve Wynn he had to play it by ear when Wynn approached him as part of Trump’s inaugural team after the election. With concerts scheduled in Cincinnati and the potential for two weekends instead of one, Brooks knew he couldn’t commit to the inauguration if demand for tickets was high.
As it turned out out, he had to schedule three extra shows, which would have conflicted with the inauguration.
Brooks had kind words for both outgoing President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump.
“We can’t thank the Obamas enough for serving this country,” he said in the video. “And may God hold Trump’s hand in the decisions that he makes in this country’s name as well.”
He then gave a nod to MLK Day, 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.”
He also encouraged people to come together, saying, “Let’s stay together. Love, unity, that;s what it’s all about.”
Trump has reportedly had great difficulty getting performers for his inauguration and has had several acts back out after agreeing to perform, although those who have agreed, such as Jackie Evancho, have seen their album sales rise dramatically as a result.
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