For a second there, it had looked like Donald Trump’s team had finally landed a big name to perform at his inauguration on 20 January. Via Twitter, Rebecca Ferguson, the songbird – not the actress from “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” – announced that organizers of the event had contacted her to sing the national anthem. Miss Ferguson, a British singer, has some powerful vocal cords, so it would have been a walk in the park for her to perform. Ferguson’s amazing voice landed her the second spot on the 2010 edition of “The X Factor.”
She went on to sell millions of albums after inking a deal with Columbia Records. The “Fake Smile” artist said that she would love to sing for the billionaire – under one tiny condition.
Miss Ferguson stated that she should be allowed the sing the very controversial tune, “Strange Fruit.” The track was originally a poem written in 1937 by Abel Meeropol, a teacher from New York, who was anti-lynching. The powerful and heart-wrenching piece described how African-Americans were lynched in public for insignificant actions, which were viewed as crimes against white society.
Two years later, the iconic Billie Holiday transformed the anti-racism poem into one of her most respected and well-known songs. Nina Simone delivered an unforgettable version of the song in 1965. Some of the lyrics include: “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.”
In her piece, Ferguson, who is a diehard fan of Holiday, explained why she would be honored to perform “Strange Fruit.” The “Way You’re Looking at Her” singer said the track has a historical meaning to all African-Americans, who are all descendants of slaves. The star stated that it sends a powerful message that love is the only thing that conquers hate.
“That Ole Devil Called Love” artist wrote: “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 downtrodden 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”
Unless there is a major surprise, the only recognizable names who will be at Trump’s event are Jackie Evancho, members of the Rockettes, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.