Entertainment » Celebrities

Lady Gaga & Other Celebs Refused to Perform at RNC

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Apr 2, 2013

According to the conservative newspaper the Washington Examiner, Lady Gaga turned down a $1 million offer to perform during last summer's Republican National Convention.

It may not come to a surprise to many, since Mother Monster has been a fierce advocate and pioneer for LGBT rights and for getting the public to recognize the issues LGBT youth struggle with, including bullying. Still, that apparently didn't stop officials from the RNC from offering the pop diva a cool $1 million to perform at the 2012 event.

It was revealed that Gaga turned down the offer thanks to a lawsuit filed by the American Action Network, a powerful Republican nonprofit fundraising organization, against a vendor who was supposed to hire entertainment for the RNC in August.

Gaga wasn't the only celebrity to turn down an offer, however. According to the lawsuit, Dolly Parton and rapper Pitbull also said they wouldn't perform at the RNC. The Examiner notes that officials from the convention wanted Pitbull for their Hispanic Leadership Network event.

Some entertainers did perform at the convention, however, including 80s rock bands Journey and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Still, Gaga's offer was the most lucrative, according to an email sent last summer by AAN's director of development Pete Meachum.

"See what it would take to get Gaga instead of Dolly," Meachum wrote to Rob Jennings, the head of Cater America LLC, an event production company based in Wyoming. Meachum also told Jennings to tell Gaga that the event would be "honoring women who run for public office."

"Also, tell them that $150,000 will go towards a domestic violence shelter," Meachum wrote to Jennings, in hopes it would make it harder for Lady Gaga to turn down the offer.

It's no surprise Parton turned down her deal either, since she's been a longtime supporter of gay rights.

"Sure, why can't they get married? They should suffer like the rest of us do," Parton said CNN host Joy Behar. When Behar suggested Dolly's Southern roots might not mesh with the idea of marriage equality, the singer agreed, "I know that's true."

It looks like the RNC could have used a powerhouse like Gaga or Parton to boost the event's ratings, however. The Hollywood Reporter points out that TLC's "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," a controversial reality show about a self-proclaimed "redneck" family (a spinoff of "Toddlers and Tiaras"), had higher ratings with its fourth episode than coverage of the RNC. The episode pulled in 3 million viewers while only 1.3 million tuned into RNC coverage.


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