LONDON (Reuters) - British singers Charlotte Church and Rebecca Ferguson have rejected invitations from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s team to perform at his inauguration next week, they said in separate statements on Tuesday.
The rejections follow other apparent snubs by celebrities including Elton John, whose publicist denied in November that he would be performing at the event after an economic adviser to Trump had said that he would.
“@realDonaldTrump Your staff have asked me to sing at your inauguration, a simple Internet search would show I think you’re a tyrant. Bye,” wrote Church in a tweet she concluded with derogatory emojis.
Trump’s inauguration committee did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Classical crossover singer Jackie Evancho, who rose to fame as a child performer on the TV show “America’s Got Talent” six years ago, has confirmed she would sing the U.S. national anthem at Trump’s inauguration.
Church also began her career as a child classical singer before branching out into pop and other musical styles. She has sold millions of records, including in the United States, and has performed in front of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and the late Pope John Paul II.
In recent years she has spoken out about her left-leaning political views, and over the course of 2016 she posted multiple tweets that strongly criticised Trump.
Ferguson, who gained prominence as a runner-up on the TV talent show “The X Factor” in 2010, said on Tuesday she too had refused to perform at Trump’s inauguration because her choice of song, “Strange Fruit”, was rejected.
The anti-racist song, which has been performed by the likes of Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, protests against the lynching of African Americans in the South in the early 20th century.
“I requested to sing ‘Strange Fruit’ as I felt it was the only song that would not compromise my artistic integrity,” Ferguson said in a statement.
“As music is so powerful, I wanted to try and help educate the people watching of where division and separation can lead to if not corrected. My aim was not to cause contention,” she said.
Some U.S. media have reported that Trump’s inauguration committee was struggling to enlist A-list stars to appear at the event.
Outgoing President Barack Obama enjoyed performances by Aretha Franklin at his first inauguration in 2008 and by Beyonce at his second in 2012.
Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton in Washington; Editing by Janet Lawrence