Whether Bocelli was ever officially slated to perform is unclear.
According to Page Six, the singer bowed to backlash from fans and is backing out of the gig.
“Bocelli said there was no way he’d take the gig . . . he was ‘getting too much heat’ and he said no,” a source told the outlet.
In response to reports, Presidential Inaugural Committee chairman Tom Barrack told CNBC Tuesday morning that the president-elect had not asked the opera singer to perform at the Jan. 20 ceremony. Barrack claims that Bocelli and his wife, who are “friends” with Trump, offered to consider performing “if it would be helpful.”
Last week it was announced that Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old singer best known for appearing on “America’s Got Talent” at age 10, would perform the national anthem at the inauguration.
Shortly after the announcement, Evancho’s mother told TMZ that Bocelli would also perform. Later, TMZ clarified that she’d “jumped the gun” on the announcement, as the 58-year-old singer had not formally committed to the engagement.
In November, Elton John also had to deny rumors that he was performing at Trump’s inauguration. The president-elect often played the singer’s music on the campaign trail without the British singer’s approval.
“I’ve met Donald Trump, he was very nice to me, it’s nothing personal, his political views are his own, mine are very different, I’m not a Republican in a million years,” he said in an interview with the Guardian in February. “Why not ask Ted fucking Nugent? Or one of those fucking country stars? They’ll do it for you.”
The Huffington Post has reached out to reps for Trump and Bocelli and will update this post accordingly.