It’s been tough trying to get musical performers to render their services for the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, so much so, that they’re asking music acts from other countries, and the singers are STILL giving ultimatums.
Former “X Factor UK” contestant Rebecca Ferguson is the latest performer to be invited to sing at Trump’s inauguration, but she has one request if she does: to sing the racially poignant classic “Strange Fruit,” the poem-turned-song made popular by Billie Holiday and Nina Simone about the public lynchings of African-Americans.
In a statement released yesterday, Ferguson wrote:
“I’ve been asked, and this is my answer,” Ferguson wrote on TwitLonger. “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.”
— Rebecca Ferguson (@RebeccaFMusic) January 2, 2017
Trump’s inaugural organizers have yet to reply.
So far, only a handful of performers are confirmed for the inauguration: 16-year-old former “America’s Got Talent” contestant Jackie Evancho, the Radio City Rockettes (after several of them refused to participate), the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (after one member quit in protest), and more controversially, HBCU band Talladega College’s Marching Tornadoes will participate in the parade along with several military and veterans groups.