Political

UPDATE: Bruce Springsteen cover band changes tune, pulls out of Donald Trump inaugural event

New details on Make America Great Again Welcome Celebration

 

A Bruce Springsteen tribute band is now running from the Donald Trump inaugural event where they were originally scheduled to perform.

B Street Band leader Willie Forte said Monday that the decision is based "solely on the respect and gratitude we have for Bruce and the E Street Band." He told The Associated Press that "this whole thing just got blown out of proportion."

The group had signed a contract to appear Thursday with the New Jersey State Society at the Washington, DC galat, but it had drawn criticism for the show because of Springsteen's distaste for Trump.

Springsteen has called Trump a "flagrant, toxic narcissist." 

Springsteen performed during Obama's inaugural in 2009.

The New Jersey State Society said Sunday it was "very disappointed" by the cancellation but understood the group's decision.

The band faced intense criticism following the news it would be playing at the event

"Shame on the #BStreetBand playing at #Trump's inaugural," Democratic New Jersey state Sen. Ray Lesniak tweeted last week. "They've profited from #Bruce now they're abandoning the message in his music."

The B Street Band said its performance at the gala — which is not Trump's inaugural ball itself, as many have mistakenly posted online — had been planned since 2013.

The cover band has twice performed for the nonprofit and nonpartisan group's galas to mark Democrat President Barack Obama's inaugurals.

"We got some flak from the others, but nothing like this," B Street Band bandleader Willie Forte.

Forte believes much of the criticism arose because people mistakenly thought the group was going to perform at Trump's inaugural ball.

Springsteen superfan Gov. Chris Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, are honorary co-chairs of the $225-per-person event. The Republican governor's office did not respond to a question about whether they would attend.

Forte said the B Street Band is composed of six "hard-working" guys and has been performing Springsteen songs for nearly 37 years. It draws its name from the E Street Band, which has backed Springsteen since 1972.

The Associated Press contribued to this report.