Chrisette Michele is reportedly the latest act to sign on to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration. The New York Daily News reports that the deal with the R&B singer was reached a week ago and has remained a “big secret” because her camp feared backlash leading up to the event, taking place this Friday.
Event organizers have had their fair share of hurdles with securing acts for the lineup. Bruce Springsteen cover band The B Street Band canceled their performance scheduled for Thursday night at the Garden State Inaugural Ball in Washington. Grammy- and Tony-winning singer Jennifer Holliday pulled out of her inauguration performance after receiving major backlash from supporters on social media. The Radio City Rockette dancers, who were also tapped for the inauguration, expressed disappointment about being booked for the presidential gig.
Michele’s 2007 debut album I Am debuted at No. 5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, while the lead single and will.i.am collaboration “Be OK” landed a Grammy for the short-lived best urban/alternative performance category. Her 2009 effort Epiphany hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.
Sources also told the Daily News that the initial plan was to have Michele perform “Intentional” with singers Travis Greene, Jonathan McReynolds and Tye Tribbet (they had performed the number at BET’s Celebration of Gospel last year). The plan allegedly fell apart when two of the three singers declined the offer.
Billboard has reached out to Michele’s reps for comment.