Paul Anka has announced that he had to back out of performing in an inauguration night event because of a scheduling conflict, but said his decision had nothing to do with his feelings toward his “old friend” Donald Trump.
Mr. Anka made the statement Friday after Radar Online reported that the singer was going to perform “My Way” with the lyrics altered to fit Mr. Trump.
“The president-elect is an old friend of mine for 50 years,” the 75-year-old told TMZ. “There was a dialogue to do it; ‘My Way’ was his favorite song.”
Mr. Anka explained that he’s currently entangled in a two-year custody battle over his son, Ethan, and a new schedule conflicted with the Jan. 20 inauguration, forcing him to cancel.
“I have a respect for the office of the presidency,” he said. “I was doing it in terms of what’s good for our country and respecting the presidency.”
Mr. Anka, who was born in Ottawa, Ontario, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1990, stressed that he doesn’t align with Mr. Trump politically.
“If I had done it I would have hoped there had been some understanding for my motivation for it and judge me accordingly,” he said.
Mr. Anka said it would have been the featured performance of the night. He was supposed to sing the customized song as the president-elect and incoming first lady Melania Trump danced, he said.
“It would have been the first dance,” he told TMZ.