Aretha Franklin bashed Trump in private, blew off Inauguration invite

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.

Indeed, those sources told The Daily Beast that Franklin had been in talks to join Team Hillary on the campaign trail, and even to perform a song written for Clinton at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Though she was able to perform briefly at at least one Clinton fundraiser, Franklin’s difficult logistical demands prevented her from performing at the Democratic convention, and other conflicts kept her from appearing or headlining other envisioned 2016 events.