Elton John, R. Kelly and Moby have all publicly declined to perform at the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, yet Trump’s inauguration found seven acts to kick things off with the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” Thursday evening. Because of the divisiveness of the election and the general liberal leaning of popular musicians, the list of musicians willing to perform for Trump was short — and not nearly as notable as an equivalent concert for President Barack Obama held before his 2009 inauguration.
Obama’s musicians produced a combined six times as many gold (500,000 units sold), platinum (1 million) and diamond (10 million) albums as Trump’s lineup, a Capital News Service analysis found. Obama’s lineup averaged nearly 11 gold (or higher) albums per artist, compared to just under five for Trump’s.
Two things are crystal clear from the chart below: Obama’s inaugural concert was packed with popular musicians. And Garth Brooks needs to take a break from making platinum-selling albums (it’s getting excessive). He has 23 platinum albums and seven diamond albums, which surpasses the combined total of gold and platinum albums from Trumps’s list of artists by one. Trump’s artists had no diamond albums.
Artists seem to be coming in and out of the lineup for Trump’s pre-inauguration concert. But according to the official site for the concert, the list of artists will include 3 Doors Down, Toby Keith, and Jennifer Holliday. There have been questions about whether Holliday will actually perform. And Sam Moore of Sam and Dave has been added to the lineup, according to the Associated Press, but his name does not appear on the official concert website. The combined number of diamond, platinum and gold albums of the official list of artists stands at 29, substantially lower than Obama’s combined total of 174.