Sorry, Charlie: Palace couldn't get big-name UK artists to perform at King Charles’ coronation

After six major performers dropped out, here's the official lineup, including Americans and ... Winnie the Pooh?!

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer
Published February 28, 2023 4:50PM (EST)
Updated May 5, 2023 11:37AM (EDT)
King Charles III, Harry Styles, Adele and Elton John (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
King Charles III, Harry Styles, Adele and Elton John (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Almost 70 years after Queen Elizabeth II was anointed, Buckingham Palace is throwing a similar celebration, this time for Charles III and his wife, Lady Camilla, who will be crowned King and Queen on May 6. The historic weekend will include a Coronation Big Lunch, which promises both food and fun, followed by a volunteering event called the Big Help Out. There's also going to be a public Coronation Concert, albeit with an odd lineup of performers – missing some of the biggest UK names and instead including . . . Americans.

In recent months, numerous headliners for Charles' coronation have reportedly declined their invitations to perform. Per the Daily Mail, Adele and Ed Sheeran were the first to say no, even after Charles said he "was very keen that they were part of the concert." 

"There is a team set up to get the talent signed up, so they approached the two of them, but got replies saying that they were unavailable, which was a massive disappointment," said an unnamed source involved with the event, per Marie Claire. "They are titans of the showbiz industry and are quintessentially British, but also known across the globe. It's such a shame."

Sheeran allegedly dropped out due to traveling conflicts — he is slated to appear at a show in Texas the day before the Coronation Concert — while Adele provided no reason for her decision. Adele was also not scheduled to perform publicly after March 25. During a February performance at her Las Vegas residency, she told fans that she's struggling with chronic back pain and sciatica. 

Following suit were Harry Styles, Elton John, Kylie Minogue and the Spice Girls, who all declined their invitations on due to busy schedules, per The Sun. As of January, the Spice Girls were seemingly confirmed to perform before they dropped out for good, disappointing fans who were hoping for a reunion. Both Styles and John are on tour and won't be able to fit the concert into their schedules.

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On April 28, it was announced that English boy band Take That will perform with three of its original members: Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen. Additional performers include Lionel Richie, who was the first global ambassador of the Prince's Trust, a charity founded by Charles; pop star Katy Perry, who was appointed as an ambassador of the British Asian Trust, another charity founded by Charles, in 2020; Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli and Welsh singer Sir Bryn Terfel, who will perform as a duo; singer-songwriter Freya Ridings, classical-soul musician Alexis Ffrench, Bette Midler and an official coronation choir, made up of choir groups from across the UK.

Other guest stars include Tom Cruise, Pussycat Dolls frontwoman Nicole Scherzinger, Winnie the Pooh, Paloma Faith, Tiwa Savage, Steve Winwood, Olly Murs and DJ Pete Tong, world-renowned pianist Lang Lang, "The Piano" winner Lucy and Bollywood superstar Sonam Kapoor.

By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Adele Brief Coronation Ed Sheeran Elton John Harry Styles King Charles Iii Music Royal Family Spice Girls