Latin Grammys 2018
Big & Rich, Cowboy Troy Booked for Trump Pre-Inaugural Ball
Though big-name performers are, so far, few and far between, the Trump inaugural roster just landed two country acts for a pre-inaugural gala set for Jan. 19. According to a press release announcing the event, Big & Rich and country rapper Cowboy Troy have signed on for the Great American Alliance Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C.
The party is being thrown by the Republican Party of New York and Great American Alliance -- formed by the leaders of the Great American PAC, which supported Trump's bid. The New York real estate billionaire will be sworn in on January 20 in an event that appears to be more lower-wattage than the inaugural parties that greeted President Obama's two election victories in 2008 and 2012.
Big & Rich's John Rich is an avowed conservative who wrote "Raising Cain," a campaign song in honor of John McCain for the longtime GOP senator's 2008 presidential campaign; he also won the 2011 edition of Trump's reality show, Celebrity Apprentice. Among the VIPs expected to attend the ball are former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Oscar winner Jon Voight and conservative Sheriff David Clarke.
"We're thrilled to be performing in our nation's capital during this historic moment in time," Rich said in a statement. "A presidential inauguration is a uniquely American event, so we are honored to be a part of it and hope to help make it a memorable event." Great American Alliance is described as a "new research and issue advocacy organization" whose mission is to "advocate for a stronger economy, a more secure nation, and society with less government intrusion and more freedom for American citizens."
Unlike the past two star-studded inauguration celebrations featuring acts such as Beyoncé, Aretha Franklin and others, so far the biggest name attached to Trump's is 16-year-old America's Got Talent opera singer Jackie Evancho. Trump appeared to have scored another performer this week when it was announced that the Talladega College marching band had agreed to appear, though soon after word broke of the booking social media erupted with some angry responses from alumni and supporters of Alabama's oldest private Historically Black College.
Members of the marching band from New York's Marist College were also invited to participate, but several students have voiced their displeasure with the school's decision to march for Trump, with more than 100 reportedly refusing to participate. While those marchers will reportedly not be reprimanded for their decision to opt out, Madison Square Garden executive chairman James Dolan reacted strongly to a recent Marie Claire story that related a private meeting between the exec and the legendary dance troupe in which one Rockettes member asked if he thought linking the dancers to Trump might tarnish the brand.
Last month, amid reports that his team was having trouble nailing down headline-worthy talent, Trump said he wasn't interested in "so-called 'A' list celebrities" attending his inauguration. Along with the Radio City Rockettes and Evancho, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are the only named performers slated for Trump's big day so far.