England-born talent Rebecca Ferguson was recently asked to perform at Donald Trump’s upcoming Inauguration. The former X-Factor singer recently went to twitter to respond to the invite, which allegedly other A-list celebrities have since turned down. Artists such as Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Elton John have reportedly already turned down the offer. You probably would think Trump’s new buddy Kanye West would have offered, but no official word has surfaced.
— Rebecca Ferguson (@RebeccaFMusic) January 2, 2017
“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”
“Strange Fruit” was written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish man from the Bronx and first recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939. Songs speaking that directly about racial injustice was almost unheard of for that decade still. Remember that this was still pre-Rosa Parks and it would be some time until “separate but equal” Jim Crow laws were dissolved. Since, Time magazine has named “Strange Fruit” the “song of the century” in 1999, and was also put into the National Recording Registry by The Library of Congress.
Southern trees bear a strange fruit/
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root/
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze/
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
So far, confirmed performers are the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Radio City Rockettes, and former America’s Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho. What are your feelings on this? Check below for Billie Holiday singing “Strange Fruit.”