Chrisette Michele has been confirmed as a performer at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, sparking a negative backlash from her fans on social media.
Rumors about Michele’s participation in the ceremony started swirling earlier this week, when she cancelled a concert that was scheduled for Friday Jan. 20th-the same day as the inauguration. Michele confirmed that she’d be taking the stage by releasing a statement to her fans saying that she is “willing to be a bridge” and doesn’t “mind These Stones, if they allow me to be a voice for the voiceless.”
"My heart is broken for our country, for the hopes of our children, for the fights of those who came before us. I cry at the thought that Black History, American History might be in vain. This country has had great moments. God has shined His light upon us. Today, I hope that Great Moments begin in peaceful & progressive conversation. I am willing to be a bridge. I don't mind "These Stones", if they allow me to be a voice for the voiceless. I am here. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about what matters,". I am here, representing you, because this is what matters." – Chrisette Michele #NoPoliticalGenius We Can't Be Present If We're Silent | LINK IN BIO
Questlove of The Roots even went as far as offering to pay Michele not to perform:
I'd pay Chrisette to NOT perform
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) January 18, 2017
Chrisette was reportedly offered $750,000 to perform and tried to keep her appearance “a big secret” for as long as possible for fear of backlash (just last week, Jennifer Holliday such faced an onslaught of negative backlash after she was reported to be taking the stage at the inauguration that she bowed out citing a “lapse of judgment”). According to the Daily News, Michele was originally slated to perform her song “Intentional” which featured gospel singers Travis Greene, Jonathan McReynolds and Tye Tribbett, however when two of the three performers pulled out of the ceremony, the plans changed. Now Michele will reportedly perform an R&B set.
Take a look at some of Black Twitter’s reactions (including one from Spike Lee) below:
Chrisette Michele after she seen that check for Donald Trump's Inauguration concert. pic.twitter.com/akQaGIoDzk
— NUFF$AID (@nuffsaidNY) January 18, 2017
— MsDimples (@MsNadaNee504) January 18, 2017
— Gregory (@remember2pray) January 19, 2017
— Papa Bear (@manofnowonder) January 18, 2017
I've been offline most of the day. I hope that the tweet I saw saying that #ChrisetteMichele is performing at the inauguration is false.
— deray mckesson (@deray) January 19, 2017
Photo Credit: Aaron J. Thornton / PR Photos