‘X Factor’ Star Rebecca Ferguson Drops Out of Trump Inauguration
The X Factor UK star Rebecca Ferguson had been invited to perform at the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. However, the singer has opted to pull out less than two weeks before Inauguration Day.
One of the big reasons for her withdrawal is apparently concerns over how it would compromise her artistic integrity, since the people in charge of the inauguration were dictating her song choice. Granted, this isn’t exactly surprising, considering the gravity of a presidential inauguration. While I think her request to sing the Billie Holiday classic “Strange Fruit”, about the lynching of African-Americans, was a bold one, I don’t think Trump’s people were ever going to let that happen. Still, Rebecca released a pretty classy statement about her withdrawal, which you can read below:
Due to circumstances beyond my control concerning the offer to perform at the Inauguration Concert, I was thrown into the middle of a political arena last week.
I wasn’t comfortable with the song choice made on my behalf, and although I’m very blessed to have a gift that gives me amazing opportunities, as a mother and an artist, I had to defend my stance. That is why I made the decision to sing “Strange Fruit” when I was invited.
I requested to sing “Strange Fruit” as I felt it was the only song that would not compromise my artistic integrity and also as somebody who has a lot of love for all people, but has a special empathy as well for African American people and the #blacklivesmatter movement, I wanted to create a moment of pause for people to reflect.
I believe talent is a gift that should be used to heal the wounds of this world and make the world a better place to live in. As music is so powerful, I wanted to try and help educate the people watching of where division and separation can lead to if not corrected. My aim was not to cause contention.
Pride and ego is what we need to conquer in this world. I was blessed to be invited to the Vatican last month and one thing I was left reflecting on, was all the things that separate humans from one another. It is often pride and the inability to accept people for exactly who they are. We are here to love, not judge, or bring people down.
I think love and standing firm in love against anything that separates us from each other, can heal us in these troubled times of unrest.
There are many grey areas about the offer for me to perform that I’m unable to share right now, but I will not be singing. However, I genuinely wish your nation nothing but love. I would also like to pay homage to a few of your great female artists: Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and the brave and remarkable Eartha Kitt and her beautiful untold story.
I’ve a lot of love for the United States. It’s a constant source of inspiration to myself, if not the whole world. I genuinely wish you all well and hope I will still get to sing “Strange Fruit” for you one day.
Take care and God bless xx
On the one hand, this is probably for the best. But part of me wishes they’d have just let her sing the song. It could have been a powerful moment. That said, I can imagine they didn’t want anything potentially incendiary from their musical guests at the inauguration, so I’m not exactly surprised about this withdrawal. All in all, the inauguration will be interesting, if nothing else.
What do you think of Rebecca Ferguson’s statement on the inauguration? Sound off in the comments!
And for more X Factor news, find out more about the catastrophic debut flop for Season 13 finalist Honey G!