Rebecca Ferguson will accept the invitation to perform at Trump's inauguration if she's allowed to sing a song about the lynchings of Black Americans.
With less than three weeks to go until he is sworn in as President of the United States, Donald Trump is still having trouble finding someone to perform at his inauguration. Aretha Franklin, Jay Z, and Kelly Clarkson are among the stars to perform for Obama during his two inaugurations, but the faces of mainstream music have been, for the most part, vehemently opposed to a Trump presidency. In fact, Trump's team has apparently been so desperate to lock in a performer that they are now looking outside of the U.S. for potential candidates.
Trump's staff has reportedly offered British singer Rebecca Ferguson, who came to fame as the runner-up on the 2010 season of "The X Factor," an invitation to perform for him on January 20. And she has accepted -- on one condition, which may disqualify her in the eyes of the GOP. She will only show up if she gets to sing "Strange Fruit," a song about racism that was first recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939 and was also covered by Nina Simone in 1965.
The "Strange Fruit" lyrics deal with the lynchings of African Americans in the South. As Ferguson notes in her response to Trump's invitation, shared via Twitter, "Strange Fruit" was once blacklisted in the U.S. Read her full statement below.
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
Do you think Trump will allow "Strange Fruit" at his inauguration?