Rebecca Ferguson is the latest name to be asked to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration, and she might well do it.
Well, if one condition of hers is met anyway.
« 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, » she wrote on TwitLonger.
— Rebecca Ferguson (@RebeccaFMusic) January 2, 2017
« 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. »
Trump has reportedly been struggling to find A-listers to play his inauguration on January 20 so, who knows, maybe his team will accept this offer…
‘Strange Fruit’ was originally performed by Billie Holiday, based on a poem by Abel Meeropol, and is considered one of the first important protest songs, with its stark lyrics describing the lynching of African Americans.
Nina Simone covered the track in 1965, with a sample from that version used by Kanye West on ‘Blood on the Leaves’.
Ferguson finished second on The X Factor in 2010 and released a cover album – Lady Sings the Blues – of Billie Holiday songs in 2015, but didn’t include ‘Strange Fruit’.
Acts including Celine Dion and KISS have been among those reported to have turned down the chance to play the inauguration later this month, although it’s not clear whether they were asked in the first place.
Trump does at least have America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho to sing the national anthem, so there’s that.