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Andrea Bocelli 'backs out' of singing at Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony

Bocelli was reportedly approached by Trump in person

Roisin O'Connor
Tuesday 20 December 2016 10:09 GMT
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(Getty)

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli has reportedly stepped down from a performance at Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony, leaving a fresh opening for another artist.

Bocelli was said to have been approached by Trump, who is a huge fan of his work, in person after a show at Madison Square Garden in New York.

In 2010, Trump booked Bocelli to perform at a private party at his club in Florida, and has attended at least one of his concerts.

While Bocelli did not confirm or deny that he would perform at the President-elect's ceremony, the news that Trump had asked him prompted a backlash from fans, who told him he would be "selling his soul to the devil".

The New York Post's gossip column Page Six reported on Monday evening that a source had told them Bocelli said there was "no way" he would take the gig.

"He was getting too much heat and he said 'no'," the source said.

However another source reportedly told Page Six that Trump himself had suggested that Bocelli should not particpate to protect him from the inevitable backlash.

Trump has been struggling to find high-profile artists who are willing to perform at his inauguration ceremony, which takes place on 20 January.

When Barack Obama was elected as US President, Beyonce and Aretha Franklin performed, while indie band The National played during his campaign for re-election.

So far Trump's staff have confirmed that Jackie Evancho, a runner-up from America's Got Talent, will perform.

Michelle Obama announces she will not be running for President

The Independent has contacted representatives for Andrea Bocelli for comment.

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