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Elton John, a Favorite of Trump, to Perform at the Biden White House

Elton John, a Favorite of Trump, to Perform at the Biden White House

For starters, Mr. John’s music was a feature of the political rallies that fueled Mr. Trump’s rise. A former Trump campaign official said that Mr. John was so displeased with the use of his songs at Trump rallies that campaign officials received a cease-and-desist request asking them to stop. The former official said that the music was briefly pulled but that Mr. Trump, who personally oversaw the rally music playlists, eventually ordered “Tiny Dancer” and “Rocket Man” back into the mix.


How Times reporters cover politics. We rely on our journalists to be independent observers. So while Times staff members may vote, they are not allowed to endorse or campaign for candidates or political causes. This includes participating in marches or rallies in support of a movement or giving money to, or raising money for, any political candidate or election cause.

In late 2016, an aide to Mr. Trump said that Mr. John would play his inauguration, a claim that was quickly squashed. “Incorrect. He will NOT be performing,” Fran Curtis, Mr. John’s longtime publicist, wrote in an email to The New York Times. Mr. John eventually sent an email to Mr. Trump politely declining the gig but suggested that he might play a state dinner sometime.

“I was honoured to perform at a White House State Dinner for the UK during the Clinton presidency and I would be delighted to do the same for you if the opportunity arises,” Mr. John wrote in that email. “I also want to wish you every success with your presidency. I love America deeply, a country that has always welcomed me and my music with kind, tolerant and open arms.”

No plans were made for Mr. John to play such a dinner, according to Stephanie Grisham, a former Trump press secretary. The Trump White House never welcomed Britain to the White House, and such an invitation to Mr. John was “definitely never an effort because we knew he wouldn’t,” she said.

The two men enjoyed friendlier relations before the Trump presidency: Mr. John sang at the wedding of Mr. Trump and Melania Knauss in 2005. And when Mr. John wed his longtime partner, David Furnish, in a civil ceremony, Mr. Trump offered public congratulations: “If two people dig each other, they dig each other. Good luck, Elton. Good luck, David. Have a great life,” Mr. Trump wrote in a blog post, which has since been taken off-line.

As Mr. Trump grew more involved in politics, the singer he was so personally fond of began to publicly declare his support for Democrats. Mr. John, who played at a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump’s Democratic rival for the presidency, said that he had “fear for the world” if Mr. Trump were to win.

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