In regards to the decision behind her performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration, Chrisette Michele says she did it to start a dialogue.
The embattled singer appeared on The Breakfast Club this morning (January 25) to speak on the controversy and revealed that she only agreed to perform at the newly appointed president’s inauguration to use her voice for change.
“With the entire campaign experience, I think that many of us were wondering, ‘Who is he talking to?’” Michele said “You would hear something and you would say, ‘Why does he think it’s okay to talk to ‘us’ like that?’ So I needed him to see what ‘us’ looked like because I was as confused as everyone.”
Since the news of her decision made headlines, many have spoken out against the singer including fans and director Spike Lee, who vowed to remove the singer’s song “Black Girl Magic” in his upcoming Netflix series, “She’s Gotta Have It.”
According to Michele, despite the criticism, she felt like she “had to go.”
“I’m the one who feels left out,” she said. “I keep hearing him say, or the campaign trail say, ‘For the people who feel like they don’t belong or who feel like they’re not being heard…’ And I was saying, ‘I don’t know if we’re being heard.’ So I had to go. There was no hesitation.”
When asked if she got to meet and shake hands with the President, Michele said she didn’t. According to the singer, she was originally scheduled to take the mic after Trump’s first speech, however plans changed and she was told by an organizer that she would instead perform before the speech. “I looked her in the eye and said, ‘My family has disowned me,’” she said. “‘If you decide to Google me, you’ll see that America is writing about me in their newspapers. I’m the black poster child for discord right now, and he’s not going to shake my hand?’ So no, I didn’t get to meet him.”
Check out the full interview below.