UK singer and former X-Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson might perform at Donald Trump‘s inauguration, but under one condition: she has to be allowed to sing Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.”
Ferguson took to Twitter to let fans know that the President-elect contacted her to perform, writing:
“I’ve been asked and this is my answer. If you allow me to sing “strange fruit” a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial. A song that speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States. A song that is a reminder of how love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in this world, then I will graciously accept your invitation and see you in Washington.”
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Ferguson received mixed reactions to her ultimatum, with one fan tweeting, “Please don’t normalize the hatred, bigotry and racism his campaign was built on. You send a greater message by refusing.”
While Ferguson’s performance hasn’t been confirmed, Trump managed to wrangle the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, America’s Got Talent singer Jackie Evancho, and the Radio City Rockettes––although the dancers aren’t required to perform––to appear at his inauguration.
However, Jan Chamberlin, a former member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, quit after the group confirmed their appearance, writing in a since-deleted Facebook note, “I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’ And I certainly could never sing for him.”