When Barack Obama became president in 2009, he had no problem getting singers to perform at his inauguration. He had performers like Beyonce, Jay Z, Alicia Keys, and Stevie Wonder perform a spectacular show.
Meanwhile, President-Elect Donald Trump’s planning committee still hasn’t found a singer to perform at the presidential inauguration. Trump once said,
“I’m here all by myself. Just me, no guitar, no piano, no nothing.”
But, as the date gets closer, according to thedailybeast.com he is “unhappy” that his team has not attained a performer for January 21st.
Ever since Trump became President-Elect, singers have made it clear that they will not sing at the presidential inauguration.
Neyo, Katy Perry, Elton John, Andrea Bocelli, and Gene Simmons of Kiss have all refused to perform. It wasn’t a surprise since most of these performers were active Hillary Clinton supporters.
As many musical artists turn down Trump’s offer, one has vowed to perform, just with a certain caveat. Trump might have gotten lucky this time.
Rebecca Ferguson, 2010 UK X Factor runner-up, has agreed to perform at the inauguration. She said that she would only perform only upon singing the song “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday.
Ferguson made her decision public on Twitter saying,
“I’ve been asked and this is my answer. 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 downtrodden black people in the United States. A song that is 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.”
Abel Meeropol wrote “Strange Fruit” after being inspired by a photograph of two men lynched on a tree. He was an English teacher, social activist, and a poet.
According to The Guardian, Meeropol said,
“I wrote ‘Strange Fruit’ because I hate lynching, and I hate injustice, and I hate the people who perpetuate it,”
Soon thereafter, Billie Holiday performed the song and it was subsequently blacklisted in the United States because it was “too controversial.”
This song will bring back brutal memories, but send a powerful and relevant message in today’s time with a rise in hate crimes circulating the country.
Like Rebecca Ferguson said,
“Love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in this world.”
We need to remind people what love is again, after this election, many people have forgotten. The wait is on as we wait to hear from Trump’s team with their decision.
At this point, they might have no choice to say yes or they may end up with a quiet inauguration.