Toby Keith ‘Won’t Apologize’ for Playing Inauguration Concert
Country star Toby Keith is refusing to apologize for signing on to perform at a pre-inauguration concert for President-elect Donald Trump.
The “Red Solo Cup” singer will be among the headliners at the ‘Make America Great Again!’ Welcome Celebration in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, on the eve of Trump’s inauguration, playing alongside acts including 3 Doors Down and Lee Greenwood.
The lineup was announced on Friday, sparking a barrage of criticism from social media users, who expressed their disappointment at the artists’ decision to help controversial Republican Trump mark the start of his time in office.
Broadway star Jennifer Holliday was initially included as one of the show’s headliners, but she canceled the performance on Saturday after listening to fans’ complaints.
However, Keith has no qualms about going through with the concert, insisting politics don’t factor into his decisions to play gigs of national importance.
“I don’t apologize for performing for our country or military,” he explains in a statement issued to Entertainment Weekly.
“I performed at events for previous presidents (George W.) Bush and (Barack) Obama and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO (United Service Organizations).”
Artists confirmed to perform on Inauguration Day are child star Jackie Evancho, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Rockettes.