Sam Moore of the soul duo Sam and Dave has been added to the list of performers for President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural events.
Moore told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he felt that the criticism leveled at singer Jennifer Holliday, which led to her to back out of the event, was unfair. Several other musicians have also backed away from performing.
The 81-year-old Moore will perform at the Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration on Thursday. Others expected to play include country stars Lee Greenwood and Toby Keith.
Moore said he initially planned to attend the event at the Lincoln Memorial because he wanted to see Holliday sing, but when she backed out last week, he asked if he could sing in her place.
“I am not going to let them, the left side, intimidate me from doing what I feel is the right thing to do for the country and that (presidential) seal,” Moore said in a phone interview Tuesday.
Moore and his late musical partner Dave Prater were hit singers in the late 1960s with Isaac Hayes-penned hits like “Hold On, I’m Comin'” and “Soul Man,” which earned them a Grammy award. Prater died in 1988, but Moore continues to perform and record as a solo artist.
Moore, who has performed for five other U.S. presidents, said he doesn’t know Trump personally and sometimes he’s been surprised by opinions expressed by Trump.
“He’s got a big mouth, like me,” Moore said. “Whether you agree with him or not, he’s going to say what’s on his mind.”
But he said Trump deserves a chance to prove himself as the next president.
“Give the man a shot,” Moore said. “He hasn’t even said ‘I do’ yet. Give him a chance. If you don’t like him after four years, then don’t vote for him next time.”