Chrisette Michele Releases New Song, ‘Summer Time’, Denies She Was Paid $750K for Trump Gig
Contrary to the rumors, the singer wasn’t paid $750,000 to perform at the Inaugural Ball. And yes, she was very disappointed at Spike Lee for nixing her song “Black Girl Magic” from his upcoming Netflix series, "She’s Gotta Have It.”
"I was so saddened by Spike Lee’s comments because he’s somebody that I look up to in our community," she said. "Now that I’m working on my own show, I’m looking to him, so he’s the one I’m supposed to be able to come to and say, ‘Ok, Spike, you understand my city, where I’m from, my world, show me how to do this.'"
Michele is fighting back all of the hate with her new project she's working on called No Political Genius. It's a spoken-word album (there's no singing on it) with the singer offering her thoughts on how the country can move forward without the hate. "We can either shift for love or we can shift for division,” she says, "and I’d much rather shift for love."
When asked about her decision to perform at Trump's Inaugural Ball, Michele said she accepted the invitation with no hesitation.
"The first thing I thought was that I have an opportunity to get in front of these people who don’t seem to understand who they’re talking to and show them what we look like," she said. "I felt automatically committed to making sure that I stood up for the women who’ve felt disrespected and the minorities who felt disrespected, communities that felt that they weren’t being heard or understood. I thought that it was almost my responsibility to not just say yes but to say yes with purpose, so that was my reasoning. And no, I didn’t think twice about it."
Michele now wants to put her performance and the backlash behind her. The 34-year-old singer released "No Political Genius," a spoken word song addressing some of the criticisms. On Tuesday (Jan. 24), she released her rendition of "Summertime," which was the first song sung by black artist - Etta Moten Barnett - at the White House nearly 100 years ago.
In the end, Michele hopes to create dialogue with her No Political Genius project.
"I’m taking on the mission of speaking to congressmen and women, elected officials all around the country and then speaking to people just like me who don’t understand what they’re talking about, bring them our questions and get some answers on how we can move forward," she said. "And I think that begins with conversation. With No Political Genius, that is my goal -- just to begin the conversation. Everyone is having some passionate response to what’s happening even if we don’t understand. Yeah, we laugh about the comb over but it’s not funny."