January 20, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Berlin’s Terri Nunn is sorry for Trump gig on New Year’s Eve

Terri Nunn is really sorry for her New Year’s Eve gig. She had no idea it would upset people — or be seen as political.

That’s what the lead singer of ’80s hitmakers Berlin said after performing at President Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla. Nunn said she “would not have done so if I’d known what I learned while I was there,” referring to what she called a shocking “lack of regard for the pandemic.”

“My goal in performing was not to support a political party,” the “Take My Breath Away” singer said Monday in a statement posted on the band’s Facebook page. “I see now that that’s not the way it appeared and I am apologetic for that as well.”

On social media on New Year’s Day, people were disavowing their fandom for the band and for the singer, with many misunderstanding that it had been a Nunn gig, not a Berlin performance. The L.A.-based band broke up in 1987 (and reunited last year) but Nunn retained the rights to perform under the name.

Berlin cofounder and keyboardist David Diamond tweeted Friday, “I want to make clear that I was not at this show, nor did I ever plan to attend. I spent the evening at my home in #Truckee. Happy new year everyone!”

Trump ultimately didn’t attend the event either, having cut his Florida vacation short and returned to Washington, D.C., earlier on New Year’s Eve. However, among the 500 guests at the annual party were Rudy Giuliani, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Lara and Eric Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Nunn said on Facebook that the event was pitched to her in the contract as a small, COVID-safe New Year’s Eve event for club members. Other performers on the bill were Vanilla Ice, Taylor Dayne and the Mike Love-led incarnation of the Beach Boys.

“Unfortunately it was not Covid-safe anywhere in Florida. I had no idea masks and social distancing were not required. I thought I was current on all Covid news everywhere, but clearly I was not,” Nunn said in the statement. “I was shocked by Florida and Mar-a-Lago’s lack of regard for the pandemic and if I’d known I would never have gone.”

Nunn also apologized specifically to LGBTQ fans “who thought my performance was a statement against them,” promising she was always a supporter.

The singer said she left the New Year’s Eve event as soon as she’d met her contractual obligation and tested negative for COVID-19 on Sunday.

Berlin was formed in L.A. in the late 1970s and earned fame in the ’80s with songs including “No More Words” and “The Metro.” After the band’s 1987 breakup and some legal battles, Nunn eventually performed with her own Berlin lineup starting a decade later. Nunn, Diamond and fellow Berlin cofounder John Crawford wound up playing together in 2018, then reunited in 2019 to record and release the album “Transcendance.”

Trump bought Mar-a-Lago in 1985 and turned it from an estate into a private club in 1995. The president has kept a private residence there and refers to Mar-a-Lago now as his “Winter White House.” It has been a hub of presidential activity since he was inaugurated in 2017 and is expected to serve as the Trumps’ post-presidency home, although Palm Beach neighbors say it cannot legally do so because of the agreement that converted it to a private club.