ebecca Ferguson, the British crooner who rose to fame as a runner-up on the hit UK talent show The X-Factor, says she would perform at Donald Trump‘s Inauguration only if she was allowed to belt out “Strange Fruit,” a song made popular by jazz icon Billie Holiday, CBS News reports.
Ferguson released a statement on January 2, saying she had been formally approached by the Inauguration Committee, and would only accept its invitation if she was permitted to sing one of the most impactful psalms about racism in America.
“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 down trodden black people in the United States. A song that is a 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. Best Rebecca X,” the singer wrote on Twitter.
“Strange Fruit,” which was written in the 1930s by poet/songwriter Abel Meeropol, became a rallying cry focused on the persistent and unjust lynchings of African-Americans. Holiday’s rendition gave the song national recognition; it was also later covered by R&B legend and social activist, Nina Simone.
There’s been no word from the Inauguration Committee on whether Ferguson’s request will be granted, CBS News reports.
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SOURCE: CBS News