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Following on the heels of the announcement that 16-year-old America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho will be singing at the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, it is rumoured that Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will also perform. The classical cross-over singer is said to be doing a duet with Evancho and possibly a solo as well. The pair sang together last year in Italy.
Bocelli has worked with Trump in the past, having sung at the President-Elect’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida in 2010 and Trump reportedly attended Bocelli’s concert in Central Park in 2011.
The rumours have emerged amidst mutterings that the Tump team has been having difficulty securing talent, with US news site TheWrap reporting allegations that Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee offered to reward talent bookers with ambassador positions if they could procure top singers to perform – an allegation denied by committee spokesperson Boris Epshteyn, who said, “First-class entertainers are eager to participate in the inaugural events.”
A publicist for Elton John issued a strongly worded statement in November quashing a rumour that he would perform at the ceremony. "He will NOT be performing at Trump's Inauguration!" wrote John's spokeswoman Fran Curtis in an email. During his presidential campaign, Trump accumulated a long list of musicians asking him not to play their music at rallies.
While Bocelli’s appearance at the inauguration hasn’t been confirmed – TMZ reported that “nothing’s written in stone” – Bocelli is already experiencing a backlash on twitter, with fans condemning what they see as an endorsement of Trump.