A day after it was announced that she would be performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration, singer Jennifer Holliday announced on Saturday that she was pulling out.
Holliday said that she had received an onslaught of criticism and also added that she could not believe that the President-elect would attack Civil Rights hero John Lewis.
“How could he say this to a man who sacrificed so much? Not just for African-Americans but just for America, so that America could be better,” Holiday said in response to Trump’s tweets about Lewis.
“I have a personal bond with Congressman Lewis, he loves my singing, I sang at his wife’s funeral by special request. I just couldn’t believe that,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I was like, Is he serious by saying that he’s ‘all talk and no action’? He’s already taken the action, the ultimate action, his blood on the bridge. It’s like, Really?”
“I though that was just very disrespectful and an insult to every person,” Holliday added.
“I don’t want my name to be associated with heartbreak or sadness,” the Broadway singer said.
On Friday, she had defended her decision to perform saying
“My initial thinking is that I have sung for Presidents in the past and it was presented to me as a welcome concert for the people. That’s what I focused on, the ‘for the people’ part. I’m thinking, ‘This will be great, I’ll have an opportunity to represent and have my voice be healing and unifying out on the Mall at the Lincoln Memorial.’ So, that’s really what I was thinking and, regretfully, I did not take into account what that symbolized to other people.”
Early on Saturday morning, Trump responded to Lewis’s comment that he did not see Trump as “a legitimate president,” by sending a series of tweets attacking the Civil Rights icon. “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad,” the President-elect tweeted.