Sam Moore of Sam and Dave fame has spoken to The Hollywood Reporter about his decision to replace Jennifer Holliday as headliner of Donald Trump’s inaugural concert.
As previously reported, Holliday ultimately turned down the President-elect’s invitation after her fans reacted strongly against it. Moore, one half of the duo behind the 1967 classic “Soul Man,” says, performing for Trump at his “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” is not meant to be a political statement.
“I don’t know the man, never met the man. Never even watched his show. Understand me? He’s got a big mouth, so do I,” Moore told THR by phone shortly after he was officially unveiled as part of the pre-inauguration concert, noting that he’s given performances for both Democrats and Republicans in the past.
The Grammy-winning artist said that he was already on his way to Washington, D.C., to perform for the veterans when he was told by his reps that Holliday had dropped out. “I said, ‘OK, I’ll do it,’” recalls Moore. In his Q&A with THR, the singer says he’s too old to be worried about what people think of him:
What type of response have you gotten since you’ve been officially named a performer for the Lincoln Memorial concert? Some good, some negative. But, you know what? Listen: What are you going to do to me? I’m 81. I’ll be 82 this year. I don’t have a job. I don’t want to work. And if I do work, I want a lot of money when I work. It ain’t about the money.
So, therefore, I’m here singing one song. If they take the time and listen to me, I’m not going to be up there that long. I’m just going to sing the song. It’s not going to hurt. It won’t hurt. Listen to me: If you like it, you like it. If you don’t like it, then — so what? Deal with it. Come on, man. I do what I feel I want to do, and when I get finished, I’m going back home.
I’m not a Republican, and I’m not a Democrat. I’m an Independent. I don’t know the man. I haven’t walked his side, he’s not my buddy, he’s not my friend. The closest I’ve ever gotten to Trump is his hotel I stayed at one time when I was doing the Rainforest. I’m almost 82 years old. What am I scared of? I ain’t working, and I don’t want to work. What do you think about Jennifer Holliday canceling her appearance after criticism from her fans?
I’m so sorry that, listen — I don’t know the young lady, I just know that I liked her talent. But, you know what, sometimes you get put in a fix because she has a hell of a following, from what I’ve been told. And she was on Broadway, so somebody high up, she gave them the power, they got the power to go in [and say], “You won’t work on Broadway again.” So what? But, that’s that.