Sam Moore, one half of the legendary Stax Records duo Sam and Dave, will perform at the "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" on Thursday, January 19, honoring Donald Trump's inauguration the following day.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer lived in the Valley of the Sun for the past three decades, though he moved to Nassau, Bahamas, last summer.
With Dave Prater, Moore sang on some of the most recognizable soul hits of the late '60s, including "Soul Man," "Hold On, I'm Comin'," and "You Don't Know Like I Know."
“I was a participant in the civil rights movement and have seen many positive changes and advancement in my 81 years of living in this wonderful country, but I know we must all join hands and work together with our new president," Moore said in a press release.
He tells New Times that getting on the bill was never his intention. He was in Washington, D.C., for a veterans benefit, and an opportunity arose.
"I came in here to perform for my veterans. ... I had no aspirations about Trump at all. I was just coming in for the soldiers," the 81-year-old singer says.
He heard that singer Jennifer Holliday was to appear at the party, and as a fan, he was hoping to catch her performance.
"So I'm the one who said, I'll do it if she's pulled out," Moore says. "[Trump] didn't invite me; he didn't ask me. I volunteered."
It won't be the first time Moore has performed for the commander in chief. He says he has performed for Jimmy Carter, both Bushes, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. He performed at the White House twice during the Obama years, once in 2013 and once in 2016.
The Make America Great Again! concert is part of a long tradition of inauguration musical performances. In 2008, Beyoncé, Garth Brooks, John Mellencamp, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, U2, Usher, Stevie Wonder, and more performed to celebrate Obama's election. Trump's concert has been criticized for lacking that sort of star power, boasting only Toby Keith, Jon Voight, the Piano Guys, Lee Greenwood, RaviDrums, 3 Doors Down, and the Frontmen of Count, in addition to Moore.
The concert begins at 2 p.m. MST and will be broadcast on most news networks.
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