Even though Donald Trump once referred to Aretha Franklin as his “legendary friend,” the Queen of Soul hated his political rise and rebuffed an invite to sing at the 2017 inauguration, the Daily Beast reports:
Aretha Franklin hated the political rise of Donald Trump. But that didn’t stop him from trying, and failing, to book her to perform at his 2017 inauguration. Shortly after his shock election victory, then President-elect Trump tasked Tom Barrack, his longtime friend and the chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, with reaching out to Franklin to ask if she would perform at an inaugural event and concert, according to three sources familiar with what happened.
Trump had long considered the legendary singer a friend, and wanted the offer framed as an opportunity to help bring the country back together after a brutal, bruising presidential election.
Though she largely refrained from publicly criticizing Trump during or after the 2016 campaign, two individuals with direct knowledge of her political opinions said she was repelled by the Republican standard-bearer, his policy prescriptions, and his rhetoric. One source close to Franklin told The Daily Beast that after the election, she confided to associates that “no amount of money” could convince her to perform at the inauguration.
Another knowledgeable source described her as “despising” everything he stood for, and as an avowed Hillary Clinton supporter.