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Entertainment Weekly

Music

Jennifer Holliday pulls out of Donald Trump inauguration

Grammy and Tony winner Jennifer Holliday was set to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration but pulled out Saturday. She announced her decision in a letter addressed to the “beloved LGBT community” that was published on TheWrap.

“I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country,” she wrote. “Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.”

Earlier, Holliday defended her decision to perform at the inauguration, claiming that she voted for Hillary Clinton in the recent presidential election and that she would be “singing to welcome the people of America,” not for the president-elect. “He cannot be the only face that’s gonna represent us,” she told Billboard. “And just to have all white people up there singing is not going to be a fair representation either.”

But, according to the letter, Holliday changed her mind after reading a Daily Beast article titled “Jennifer Holliday Will Perform at Trump’s Inauguration, Which Is Heartbreaking to Gay Fans.” “My only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!” she wrote.

“I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgment,” she continued, “for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans. Please know that I HEAR YOU and I feel your pain. The LGBT Community was mostly responsible for birthing my career and I am deeply indebted to you.”

Musical acts including 3 Doors Down and Toby Keith are still scheduled to perform at the inauguration. Read Holliday’s full letter withdrawing from the event here.

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