British singer Rebecca Ferguson revealed that she’s been asked to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20. She’s willing to accept the invite, but there’s a catch: she wants to sing “Strange Fruit.” It’s a famous song about racism that was originally recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939, the Guardian reports.
If Rebecca Ferguson performs at Donald Trump’s inauguration, she’ll be one of the very few taking up the invitation. It sounds as if she may be added to the short list of ceremonial performers if she’s given the green light to sing the song.
Ferguson shot to fame after appearing on 2010’s X Factor in the U.K. singing Sam Cooke’s civil rights anthem, “A Change is Gonna Come,” which was described as a “song that speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States.”
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) January 2, 2017
Rebecca Ferguson revealed that she was asked to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration in a brief Twitter statement that began with “inauguration ceremony,” adding she’d agree to be one of the Trump inauguration performers if she could sing the song.
Ferguson’s tweet provided a link to a statement she made about the possibility of performing at Trump’s inauguration. She replied that she’d be open to performing at the event if she’s “allowed” to sing “Strange Fruit,” a song she says “has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial.”
Rebecca Ferguson continued that “Strange Fruit” sheds light on all of the “disregarded and downtrodden black people” in the nation. She writes 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.”
“Strange Fruit” is known to have graphic material about the lynchings of African-Americans that was written by Abel Meeropol.
“Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees”
Organizers for Donald Trump’s inauguration have had a hard time booking A-list talent because there’s so much controversy surrounding him. A large number of musicians fear they will damage their careers and don’t want to align themselves with policies they find revolting about Trump.
Other celebrities who were rumored to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration but declined are Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Gene Simmons, and Elton John. The Beach Boys have also been invited to sing at the inauguration, but they haven’t decided yet.
Grammy-winning music producer David Foster announced that he was asked to manage Trump’s inauguration performances, however, he “respectfully and politely declined” the offer.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) January 3, 2017
The only other main performers for Donald Trump’s inauguration are America’s Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho and the Rockettes. Evancho will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
When the Rockettes learned they were going to dance for Trump’s inauguration, some of the dancers spoke out because they were vehemently unhappy about it.
It was recently announced that the Talladega College band will also be at the Trump inauguration. There’s also some controversy surrounding that since the band members are historically black students. According to the Hill, six to eight of the 100-member band will not participated in the event.
Will Donald Trump’s inauguration planning committee allow Rebecca Ferguson to sing “Strange Fruit” at the event?
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