Has Trump finally found an A-lister to play at his inauguration? President-elect 'will ask blind tenor Andrea Bocelli to perform'
- Trump will meet with the Italian tenor this week to discuss performing
- Reports say the President-elect's team is struggling to recruit big names
- Singer John Legend said performers would be unlikely to perform because they reject 'bigotry and hate'
- Aretha Franklin and Beyonce performed at Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration
Donald Trump's search for a big-name star to play his inauguration could be nearer to success, with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli being lined up.
The President-elect is set to meet with the singer - with whom he has a long-standing relationship, according to his aides - later this week.
It comes after numerous A-listers reportedly snubbing the event.
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Donald Trump is set to personally speak to Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli about performing at his inauguration next month; the pair are pictured together in 2010
The President-elect's team is now even considering offering to break protocol and pay a fee to appear, according to reports.
Trump has previously hosted a concert by Bocelli in 2010 at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, and attended the tenor's Concerto, One Night in Central Park show in 2011 with his family.
A source told Page Six: 'Trump has a long-standing relationship with Bocelli, and wants to ask him in person to perform. The plan is to have acts at the inauguration that are meaningful for Trump, and he’s a huge fan of Bocelli.'
Beyonce and Aretha Franklin sang at Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009, but reports suggest that finding acts of similar profile could be tough.
Soul legend Aretha Franklin performed at Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009
Megastar Beyonce also lent her vocal talents to Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration, but Donald Trump is struggling to recruit A-listers, according to reports
The team faced embarrassment after Anthony Scaramucci, who is a member of Mr Trump's transition team, claimed that Sir Elton John would be playing at the January 20 event in Washington DC.
But the star's publicist quickly put out a statement revealing this would not be the case.
It said: 'Incorrect. He will NOT be performing. There is no truth in this at all.'
Sir Elton had voiced his support for Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, during the election campaign.
Trump's team had claimed Elton John would be performing at the inauguration, but he flatly denied this was the case
Singer John Legend said performers would be unlikely to perform because they reject 'bigotry and hate'
John Legend, who has won 10 Grammy Awards, said he is not surprised at all.
Legend told the BBC: 'Creative people tend to reject bigotry and hate.
'We tend to be more liberal-minded. When we see somebody that's preaching division and hate and bigotry, it's unlikely he'll get a lot of creative people that want to be associated with him.'
A report in The Wrap claims Trump's team is willing to open the checkbook to secure the services of a big star, with an insider telling the publication: 'They are willing to pay anything.
'They told me, "We’ll pay their fees". Most of these artists' fees are in the six to seven figures.'
Kid Rock is among the entertainers tipped to take part in next month's inauguration ceremony
But the President-elect's supporters have denied this.
Entertainers linked with the event include Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, Lee Greenwood and Garth Brooks, but none of these have been confirmed.
Trump inaugural communications director Boris Epshteyn has told ABC that there had been 'no struggle whatsoever' to get top talent to appear.
Trump's team is trying to recruit an A-lister of similar stature to Justin Timberlake (left) or Bruno Mars (right)
'We have world-class talent, world-class entertainers reaching out to us offering their help, offering their services so no struggle, whatsoever,' he added.
Donald Trump aide Kellyanne Conway joked last week that superstars Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake should call her directly if they're willing to play for the presidential inauguration next month.
'Shhhh!' Trump's campaign manager mugged at the camera on 'Fox & Friends,' responding to a parting question from co-host Steve Doocy.
With a thumbs-up and a wink directed at the singers, she exclaimed: 'Call me!'
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