What do Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, music icon Elton John, and Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil have in common? At one point, all were falsely rumored to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. The New York Times reports that the most recent assumed performer, Bocelli, who Trump is a noted fan of, is officially out. Chairman of Trump’s inauguration committee Thomas J. Barrack, Jr. claimed it was his boss’s decision. “The Bocellis came to him and said, ‘Look, if it would be helpful to you, if you would like us to perform, we would consider it,’” Barrack explained. “And Donald said: ‘You don’t need to. We’re not in that kind of a framework. Thanks very much for the offer. You’re my friend. You are always welcome at the White House.’” Barrack also made clear that Trump once let Bocelli borrow his plane, so you know that friendship is probably at least at Kanye level.
Still, this story is at odds with a gossip column “Page Six” ran the day before that reported that Bocelli had backed out owing to “backlash.” Some fans on Twitter wanted to boycott the operatic singer and it seemed risky to his career. Regardless of who made the decision, this leaves the ceremony line-up very bare bones on entertainment. Even with Trump’s team allegedly offering ambassadorships to talent agents, nobody — save America’s Got Talent singer Jackie Evancho — is set to sing at the event that previously drew the likes of Aretha Franklin and Beyoncé. At least Trump knows Ted Nugent is on his side.