Opera star Andrea Bocelli backed out of singing at Donald Trump’s inauguration after receiving death threats, The Mail on Sunday reported.
The news comes in the wake of black singer Jennifer Holliday’s decision to pull out of the President-elect’s celebration evening after being threatened and branded an “Uncle Tom”, a black traitor to white causes.
Blind tenor Bocelli’s fans had said they would boycott his concerts and records if he sang at the Trump inauguration.
But a source told the British Daily Mail that the 58-year-old had been determined to sing but had pulled out on the advice of his security team after receiving threats to his life.
A source close to Bocelli, a friend of Trump’s, said: “Andrea is very sad to be missing the chance to sing at such a huge global event but he has been advised it is simply not worth the risk.”
Holliday, however, issued a statement apologising to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender fans for being “uneducated” on their causes.
“My only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT community and to state unequivocally that I will not perform for the welcome concert or for any of the inauguration festivities.”
But The Washington Post reports, that Washington DC’s National Guard chief was fired only days before Trump’s inauguration, potentially creating a major security problem for the organisers.
Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz’s departure will come in the midst of the ceremony, classified as a national special security event. Schwartz has spent months planning DC’s security for that day.
On the day of President-elect Trump’s inauguration protesters are planning an anti-capitalist march, road blockades and major disruptions to inauguration balls. The protests will likely include vandalism, property destruction, a source with intimate knowledge of the protest plans told The Daily Caller on Friday.
The source added that the protesters blockading each checkpoint will represent a different liberal cause such as climate change or race issues.
Organizers for #DisruptJ20 are planning to kick off the inauguration protests on January 18 with a gay dance party outside of Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s home.
Schwartz, who was appointed to head the guard by President George W. Bush in 2008, said his orders came from the Pentagon but that he doesn’t know who made the decision.
He also added that he has not been told why he was asked to step down. “I’m a soldier,” he said, noting that he was following orders. “I’m a presidential appointee, therefore the president has the power to remove me.”
Unlike in states, where the governor appoints the US National Guard commander, that duty falls to the president in Washington DC.
Once again this hints at the Obama administration’s desire to derail a smooth transition.