Jennifer Holliday Is Performing at Donald Trump’s Inauguration: ‘I’m Singing for the People of America’
Jennifer Holliday is receiving a ton of backlash after it was announced that she will be performing at Donald Trump’s Inauguration ceremony on Friday (Jan 20). The veteran singer, who appeared in the Tony-winning revival of The Color Purple, is shocked by the onslaught of vitriol that’s been directed at her.
"I was like, nobody knows that I'm alive and then I decide to sing a song and I wake up and they all hate me," she told Billboard.
Holliday, who has performed at past Inaugurations for presidents of both parties, including the Reagans, the Bushes (father and son) and the Clintons, says that her performance for not only for the President-elect but for the American people as well.
"I haven't even endorsed anything," she states, "I'm not singing for Donald Trump; I'm singing to welcome the people of America.”
“He cannot be the only face that's gonna represent us. And just to have all white people up there singing is not going to be a fair representation either. So you're just saying don't go? Really? I'm just very disheartened by it that it would be so much hate,” she added.
Holliday says that the criticisms and hate directed towards has left her fearful. The 56-year-old singer says that she has been receiving death threats, racial slurs and suggestions of suicide.
"I have been unable to see how my singing helps Donald Trump or how that does anything for America or what we're trying to do by my not singing," she says.
Holliday is optimistic that the hate will subside and believes that by her singing she can bring a little unity to the proceedings.
"Hopefully, maybe, this will work out in the end. And, if not, I will not be killing myself. I will not be committing suicide over this," she says. "If everyone's trying to say that's the end of my career, then I guess that will have to be, but I'm going to believe that that won't be and that maybe other people will try to also see what we can do to unite the country on what little hope of togetherness we have left."