In 1993, the inauguration festivities welcoming Bill Clinton as president could have doubled as a Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame celebration, with performances by Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, and Aretha Franklin. At other inaugurations over the years, the performers have included a mix of hot pop stars and music legends, with appearances by Ricky Martin, 98 Degrees, Bruce Springsteen, Garth Brooks, Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Ray Charles, and Frank Sinatra.
It’s been widely reported that the 2017 inauguration of Donald J. Trump will stand out from the pack because of the absence of A-list artists, with multiple high-profile musicians turning down the opportunity to perform. But that’s not the only way Trump’s inauguration will be different: The festivities will also, curiously, cost more than previous ceremonies—despite a relatively short parade, far fewer celebrities, and fewer gala balls.
In fact, artists are generally not paid for performing at inaugurations. So it’s not like the bill for the Trump celebration will be high because Toby Keith and 3 Doors Down—two high-profile acts who’ve agreed to play—are receiving huge paychecks. What’s more, Trump is only expected to attend three “low-key” gala balls, according to Reuters, compared with an average of 10 during a more typical inauguration year. Read more