After news spread that Bruce Springsteen tribute band, the B Street Band, would play New Jersey’s Garden State Inaugural Gala, many fans of the Boss were outraged his music would be played to support President-elect Donald Trump since the star had been publicly opposed to his candidacy. But it turns out, the tribute band was booked in 2015 before the election even took place, the New York Times reported Friday.
The B Street Band previously played the event in 2009 and 2013 for President Obama’s election and re-election. Stereogum also notes that the gala isn’t an official inauguration event.
Since Springsteen has slammed Trump many times, calling him a “flagrant, toxic, narcissist,” the band told the New York Times they have gotten “‘several hundred’ angry emails” from Springsteen fans over playing the inauguration. Founder and keyboardist Willie Forte said that he considered dropping out before deciding against it. “I grew up with a family that taught me that when you give a commitment, when you make a promise, when you sign a contract, you go through it,” he said.
Many high-profile artists have refused to play Trump’s inauguration, including Elton John, Céline Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Marie Osmond, and more. America’s Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho will sing the national anthem during the ceremony.