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Garth Brooks to Miss Inauguration for World Tours, But Says, 'Pray God Will Hold Donald Trump's Hand'

( [email protected] ) Jan 18, 2017 10:27 AM EST
Speaking ahead of Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony, country star Garth Brooks urged Americans to pray that God will hold the hand of the President-elect as he prepares to lead the United States.
Garth Brooks speaks during a news conference to discuss plans for his upcoming concerts at the new Las Vegas Arena on Dec. 3, 2015 in Las Vegas. Getty Images

Speaking ahead of Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony, country star Garth Brooks urged Americans to pray that God will hold the hand of the President-elect as he prepares to lead the United States.

While answering questions on his Facebook live, the "If Tomorrow Never Comes" singer said: "I'm going to tell you, with this whole presidential thing: We've got one going out, pray for him and his family. And for the president going in, pray for him and his family to guide this nation. Let's stay together. Love, unity, that's what it's all about."

Brooks, who performed at Obama's 2008 inauguration, added that he thinks the country needs to become more unified.

"In the immortal words of Martin Luther King, the most durable thing that we've known is love," he continued. "It will always be that way. Again, can't thank the Obamas enough for serving this country, and may God hold Trump's hand in the decisions that he makes in this country's name as well."

Although it was widely reported that Brooks rejected an invitation to sing at Trump's inauguration due to ideological differences, the singer explained that it was nothing personal - he ultimately had to turn down performing on January 20 due to a scheduling conflict.

The country star said that after he was approached by billionaire Steve Wynn about the inauguration gig, Brooks decided to "leave it up to karma" but expressed interest in performing, saying, "It's always about serving." However, as he is in the middle of a two-year worldwide tour, ticket sales determined Brooks needed to add several dates to his world tour that conflicted with the inauguration.

While Brooks joins a growing number of celebrities who have said they will not be performing at the inauguration - including Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Celine Dion, Justin Timberlake, Elton John and Jennifer Holliday - several other country stars will be appearing, including Toby Keith and "God Bless the U.S.A." singer Lee Greenwood.

"I don't apologize for performing for our country or military," said Keith after coming under fire for his pending appearance. "I performed at events for previous presidents [George W.] Bush and [Barack] Obama and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO."

Keith, 3 Doors Down and several other artists will perform January 19 at the pre-inauguration "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration." Performers for Inauguration Day include the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Radio City Rockettes and teenage classical singer Jackie Evancho, who will sing the National Anthem.

Tags : Garth Brooks, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Inauguration Ceremony, Toby Keith, Inauguration performers