Chrisette Michele Discusses Trump Inauguration Performance Backlash

Chrisette Michele Billboard inauguration interviewChrisette Michele received an onslaught of backlash when news broke that she’d accepted an invitation to perform at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration.

It seemed like everyone on Black Twitter, from fans to celebs (like Spike Lee and Questlove) held nothing back when it came to how they felt about Michele’s addition to the talent roster. Now that all is said and done, the singer decided to sit down with Billboard to talk about the fallout from her decision to perform at Trump’s inauguration, her experience at the event and more.

The negative response definitely didn’t go unnoticed by the singer, who says that she had ” literally no hesitation” in deciding to perform at the ceremony.When we got the phone call, and this may sound crazy, there was literally no hesitation. I turned my phone off. After seeing what happened to Jennifer Holliday, I literally turned my phone off because I knew if I was going to make any type of decision, I couldn’t be swayed left or right by what anybody thought. I had to just go with my own convictions. I changed my phone number also. I didn’t even think to say no. It didn’t cross my mind.”

Although Michele says she did her best to stay away from social media after the news hit, she wasn’t able to escape all of the negative feelings that were floating around about her. “I’ll say that the backlash, I did personally feel, came from members of my extended family who decided that they didn’t want to speak to me anymore or support my family in supporting me,” she revealed. “As far as social media goes, I didn’t really look at it much. The two biggest things that I did experience internally was two celebrities who I had much respect for: Questlove and Spike Lee. Those were kind of the two things that I took a look at.”

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The singer also revealed that after risking her reputation and being “disowned” by some family members, at the end of it all, she didn’t even get a face-to-face meeting with Trump. “Originally I was supposed to perform directly after his first speech, and I had done that with Barack Obama before, so I was used to that kind of experience,’ she told the site.”And the woman who organized the event came and told me, “Now you’re going to go first and he’s going to go after you.” I looked her in the eye and said, “My family has disowned me. If you decide to Google me, you’ll see that America is writing about me in their newspapers. I’m the black poster child for discord right now, and he’s not going to shake my hand?” So no, I didn’t get to meet him.”

The singer also said that she wasn’t paid the rumored $750,000, but that she was paid for her performance.

Read more of Michele’s reasoning and experiences over at Billboard.

Photo Credit: Chrisette Michele/Instgram