British singer-songwriter and former X Factor finalist Rebecca Ferguson has apparently received an offer from Donald Trump’s inaugural committee to perform during the upcoming presidential inauguration ceremony. Yesterday, Ferguson took to Twitter to express her unique position on the offer, saying she would only do the gig if she could perform the iconic 1939/1954 Billie Holiday hit “Strange Fruit.”
— Rebecca Ferguson (@RebeccaFMusic) January 2, 2017
Ferguson’s TwitLonger note reads:
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 song deals with Southern lynchings and American racism by NYC writer and confirmed Communist Abel Meeropol in 1937, so it’s not exactly “Proud to Be an American.” In 2015, Ferguson released an album of Holiday standards called Lady Sings the Blues. “Strange Fruit” was not included.
Trump’s camp has not yet issued a response to Ferguson’s offer. As reported over the last few weeks, Donald Trump’s transition team has had difficulty in finding A-list celebrities to perform at his upcoming inauguration ceremony. The only confirmed acts thus far are former America’s Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Radio City Rockettes, whose members have reportedly considered abandoning the performance altogether. They are, reportedly, not that mad about it.