Rebecca Ferguson Will Perform At Trump's Inauguration — But Only If She Gets To Sing This Song

This would make a powerful statement.

As the inauguration looms, President-elect Donald Trump has yet to secure particularly high-profile entertainers to perform at the typically coveted event. Angered by Trump's divisive rhetoric during the campaign as well as his tweets since the election, many celebrities have been adamant about having no part in his inauguration. 

Most recently, singer-songwriter Rebecca Ferguson took to Twitter to state that she would accept the offer to perform at the ceremony — on the condition that she'll get to sing Strange Fruita powerful song protesting racism that describes the lynching of African Americans in the early 20th century:

Southern trees bear strange fruit; Blood on the leaves and blood at the root; Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze; Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees. 


Strange Fruit was initially a poem published by Abel Meeropol, a teacher, in 1937. It was later made famous by Billie Holiday, then Nina Simone, and has been covered by various artists over the years. For a while, it was blacklisted for being "too controversial."

Ferguson shot to fame as the runner-up in 2010's X Factor, and she previously released a record of Holiday covers, Strange Fruit not included. On social media, she wrote that she would "graciously accept" Trump's invitation to perform if she were allowed to sing Strange Fruit.

Her full statement read:

I've been asked [to perform at the inauguration] 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.

Cover image via Featureflash Photo Agency /


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