News World Trump’s inauguration lean on big names, but stars line up for counter-concerts

Trump’s inauguration lean on big names, but stars line up for counter-concerts

Trump inauguration
Donald Trump's team is struggling to book popular acts for his presidential inauguration. Photo: Getty
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As Donald Trump’s team scrambles to book popular acts for his presidential inauguration, big names are lining up to appear at a series of counter rallies.

Grammy Award-winning US rapper Common and acclaimed rock band The National have been confirmed for a January 19 pre-inauguration concert, organised by the reproductive health non-profit Planned Parenthood.

Mr Trump has previously angered women’s health advocates, saying during his campaign that women who have abortions should be punished.

“We’re at the very beginning of a long and tough battle to defend these basic rights,” The National posted on their Facebook page.

Plans for the free Show Up! concert in Washington DC come amid continuing reports of artists pulling out of Mr Trump’s inauguration celebrations.

On the weekend, Dreamgirls star Jennifer Holliday announced she was backing out of a scheduled appearance, while on Monday (US time) the B-Street Band, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band, pulled out of a inauguration gala performance slated for January 19.

Will Forte, the band’s keyboardist and manager, told Rolling Stone said they were concerned about alienating fans and angering The Boss.

“All this stuff made it clear to us that this event is not worth it,” he said.

As of January 17, organisers have confirmed an eclectic group of musicians and celebrities for the inauguration, which will include performances on January 19-20.

The line-up includes country singer Toby Keith, rock band 3 Doors Down, the Radio City Rockettes, America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho and actor Jon Voight.

‘This is not Woodstock’

Mr Trump’s team has brushed aside questions around the lack of big names booked for the event.

“This is not Woodstock,” Boris Epshteyn, director of communications for the Inaugural Committee, told CNN in December. “It’s not summer jam. It’s not a concert.”

Outgoing president Barack Obama’s first inauguration celebrations in 2009 were a star-studded affair, featuring appearances from Aretha Franklin, Yo Yo Ma, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé, and actors including Tom Hanks and Samuel L. Jackson.

Trump inauguration
Trump’s camp is struggling to top Obama’s 2013 inauguration. Photo: Getty

Meanwhile in New York, Hollywood A-listers Alec Baldwin and Mark Ruffalo and the left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore announced plans for a counter rally in the Big Apple.

Ruffalo said the event would show Americans “are coming together to stand up for one another, as we will do every day, to protect the values we hold dear”, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Green Day mock Trump in new video

Green Day have made no secret of their dislike of Donald Trump, and have another dig at the US President-elect in their latest video.

The American punk rockers released the song Troubled Times on Martin Luther King Day to celebrate the civil rights activist.

The band sing about how we “live in troubled times” but don’t mention Mr Trump by name.

However, a video accompanying the song includes an image of a Trump-like character gesticulating wildly while wearing a “Make America great Again” hat atop yellow hair.

The figure is juxtaposed against images of the civil rights movement, the suffragette movement and modern-day protesters with placards denouncing homophobia and racism.

Watch Green Day’s anti-Trump music video below:

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