Singer Chrisette Michele will join the party ushering in Trump’s presidency, according to sources close to the festivities.
We’re told the deal was reached a week ago, but has been kept “a big secret” because Michele’s camp feared the seven days of criticism that would surely lead up the divisive President-elect’s big day. They became especially concerned when Jennifer Holliday, who’d committed to performing for PEOTUS last week, withdrew amidst heavy pressure on Monday, citing “a lapse of judgment.”
Our insiders say inauguration organizers first reached out to Michele’s team asking her to perform the song “Intentional” with singers Travis Greene, Jonathan McReynolds and Tye Tribbett — the same trio with whom she did that tune on BET’s “Celebration of Gospel” broadcast one year ago. We’re told that plan fell apart when at least two of those three singers declined the offer. But, according to our sources, Michele agreed to sing for the Prez so long as she could perform an R&B set.
She will join veteran country warblers Toby Keith, 55, and Lee Greenwood, 74, 81-year-old Motown singer Sam Moore (of “Sam and Dave” fame) and 90s pop-rockers 3 Doors Down in the nation’s capital for two days of activities, beginning Thursday. Bruce Springsteen cover band “The B Street Band” was slated to rock out at an inaugural party for Trump in New Jersey, but withdrew last week amid criticism from members of The Boss’ actual band.
Michele, a 2009 Grammy winner from Long Island who recently parted with Motown records and formed her own label, was slated to perform at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, N.J., on Thursday night. But minutes after we first reported she would sing at the inauguration, the Jersey venue announced that the show had been canceled due to a “scheduling conflict.”
Also after seeing our story, “The Tonight Show” bandleader Questlove tweeted that he’d pay Michele not to perform for Trump.
Reps for Michele did not respond to multiple requests for comments, but Essence.com reports that they have confirmed Michele’s plans to perform for Trump through the singer’s management team.