Country

Country music festival facing pressure to nix Toby Keith from lineup after Trump inauguration performance

Country singer facing backlash after Trump inauguration performance

 

A country music festival in Naperville, Ill. is facing pressure to kick Toby Keith out of their lineup after some residents deemed the singer "too political" after his performance at President Donald Trump's inauguration.

Keith, who did not support any candidate in the 2016 presidential election, was forced to defend his decision to perform at the inauguration saying at the time he does not "apologize for performing for our country or military."

The residents of Naperville, where Ribfest will be hosted on June 30, said they protested Keith's upcoming performance not only because of his inauguration performance, but also because they say some of his lyrics were inappropriate. (Though they did not identify said lyrics.)

TOBY KEITH REFUSED TO APOLOGIZE FOR PERFORMANCE

"In the current political climate, it seemed overtly polarizing and political," Naperville resident Amy Kakkuri told the Chicago Tribune.

Despite the protests, Ribfest has defended it's decision to include Keith and say they will not be nixing him.

"Ribfest talent is negotiated and selected months in advance of the event," the festival said on their Facebook page. "At no time does the Exchange Club of Naperville make any political statement or endorsement. At no time are artists booked based on their political beliefs or actions."

Keith told Entertainment Weekly in August, "This election, I don’t think it makes a difference. I can’t believe there’s 300 million Americans in this country, and we’ve got these two as our final two. It’s absolutely crazy."

A rep for Keith did not return Fox News' request for comment.

The "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" singer is not the first entertainer to receive backlash for performing at the inauguration. Jackie Evancho, who also did not endorse Trump, received similar criticisms from her fans, but said she was honored to sing for her country.

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