UPDATE: January 14th, 1:16 P.M. EST…
Jennifer Holliday has ultimately decided to cancel her involvement in the Trump inauguration. In an open letter published by The Wrap, Holliday apologized to the LGBT community, to whom she credits the birth of her career, for her “lapse of judgement” and explained the initial reasons why she wanted to perform. The singer added that a widely-shared article published in The Daily Beast inspired her to pull out of the performance.
Stay tuned for updates.
Yesterday, an official announcement was made that Jennifer Holliday would be performing at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration next week. The Grammy- and Tony-winning singer said she doesn’t understand the negative feedback she’s been bombarded with since the news came about.
“I was like, nobody knows that I’m alive and then I decide to sing a song and I wake up and they all hate me,” the Broadway singer and actress told Billboard. “I haven’t even endorsed anything,” she says, “I’m not singing for Donald Trump; I’m singing to welcome the people of America. He cannot be the only face that’s gonna represent us. And just to have all white people up there singing is not going to be a fair representation either. So you’re just saying don’t go? Really? I’m just very disheartened by it that it would be so much hate.”
She goes on to insist that her decision was not a political one (in fact, she voted for Clinton), but rather she was inspired by what she thought President Obama wanted us to do. “I didn’t hear any of that [hate] spewed from the Obamas,” she says. “I thought that they told us to move on and try to be hopeful and make this a smooth transition. I didn’t understand that the orders were a wink and a nod to make sure that America doesn’t succeed or that Trump doesn’t succeed. … I thought we were just trying to pull together.”
Ms. Holliday is the latest performer to be announced in the inauguration line up alongside 3 Doors Down and Toby Keith. She remains the only black performer on the bill after acts like Celine Dion, Kiss, and Kanye West declined to hit the stage. Members of the African-American and Broadway community, who have been at odds with Trump’s positions on social issues involving minorities, immigrants and women, have denounced Holliday’s decision to participate.
Still, she insists she’s not worried about the impact this will have on her career. “If everyone’s trying to say that’s the end of my career, then I guess that will have to be, but I’m going to believe that that won’t be and that maybe other people will try to also see what we can do to unite the country on what little hope of togetherness we have left.”
SOURCE: Billboard | IMAGE CREDIT: Getty