Chrisette Michele performed at Donald Trump's inauguration with 'no hesitation'
Chrisette Michele has spoken out again about her controversial performance at Donald Trump's inauguration. In an interview with Billboard, the R&B singer explained why she accepted the offer to perform with "literally no hesitation."
"The first thing I thought was that I have an opportunity to get in front of these people who don't seem to understand who they're talking to and show them what we look like," she said. "I felt automatically committed to making sure that I stood up for the women who've felt disrespected and the minorities who felt disrespected, communities that felt that they weren't being heard or understood. I thought that it was almost my responsibility to not just say yes but to say yes with purpose, so that was my reasoning. And no, I didn't think twice about it."
Michele also revealed that members of her family refused to support her upon learning of her accepting the invitation to perform during the events. "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 said.
She was also disappointed when she didn't get to meet POTUS when she performed. "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 Billboard. "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."
News of Michele's performance broke just before the inauguration and she defended her decision to sing even though she received push back from fans and celebs like Questlove, who said he would pay her not to perform.
"My heart is broken for our country, for the hopes of our children, for the fights of those who came before us," Michele wrote in a letter to fans on Jan. 19. "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."
The "Epiphany" singer is currently working on a new poetry album, No Political Genius, and a television series of the same name, which she hopes will "begin the conversation" after such a divisive election. She released the title track, which mentions the inauguration, on Monday.
"I'm taking on the mission of speaking to congressmen and women, elected officials all around the country and then speaking to people just like me who don't understand what they're talking about, bring them our questions and get some answers on how we can move forward," she told Billboard.
Listen to No Political Genius‘ second track, "Summertime," below. <iframe src="http://www.audiomack.com/embed4-large/chrisette-michele/summertime" scrolling="no" width="100%" height="265" scrollbars="no" frameborder="0" class="" allowfullscreen="" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>