Lee Greenwood: It’s a “Mistake” for Performers to Bail on Trump’s Inauguration (Q&A)
When Lee Greenwood takes the stage at the Lincoln Memorial this Thursday for Donald Trump’s high profile pre-inaugural concert, it’ll be the fourth time that the country artist performs for an incoming Republican administration.
This time around, there’s a perception that many name-brand Hollywood acts have refused to perform during inauguration week in order to avoid “normalizing” a President-elect that has been anything but normal so far.
Greenwood dismisses that narrative. Not only will he be playing at Trump’s “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” he’s also performing at the dinner for incoming Vice President Mike Pence.
As he preps for his appearances, he spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about what’s the same, and different, about playing at this President’s celebrations. (This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
What was the reasoning behind accepting an offer to perform at the official Trump celebration concert?
It’s not just about the Trump event, it’s about the change of power in D.C. This is our fourth inauguration. I think whenever you’re asked to do a Congressional appearance, I think it’s in bad taste to say, “No.” It’s not political. I consider it a great honor and prestige of being able to sing the song I wrote in 1983 at the Lincoln Memorial. It will be a wonderful moment for my career but also for the citizens who will be watching it on television worldwide.
What type of feedback have you been hearing since the announcement came out on Friday morning?
Tremendous, positive feedback from everybody through my website, Facebook posts, whatever. There’s a few naysayers who are disappointed the election didn’t go their way. But, without being political, and that’s what we’re trying to push aside, is this is not political, this is basically about the change in power. America has spoken. We have a new President-elect, and we’re going to support him.