Singer Defends Her Reason for Performing at Trump Inauguration

R&B vocalist Chrisette Michele, 34, has been receiving criticism and disdain from fans and supporters for her decision to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Since the backlash, Michele has been forced to defend her decision to perform on the D.C. stage. She addressed the criticism in an open letter claiming she wants to utilize her platform to inspire conversation for “change and form a bridge for a divided nation.”

A portion of Michele’s social media letter can be read below:

“My heart is broken for our country, for the hopes of our children, for the fights of those who came before us. I cry at the thought that Black History, American History might be in vain. “Today, I hope that Great Moments begin in peaceful & progressive conversation. I am willing to be a bridge. I don’t mind ‘These Stones’, if they allow me to be a voice for the voiceless.”

Michele will be joining Toby Keith for the event of inaugural performances, though Keith’s reaction to criticism from his own fans has been unapologetic. “I don’t apologize for performing for our country or military,” Keith told Entertainment Weekly last week.

Other inauguration performers set to perform include classical crossover group, The Piano Guys, 81-year-old soul singer Sam Moore and America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho. These performers have also received criticism from fans.

“My heart is broken for our country, for the hopes of our children, for the fights of those who came before us. I cry at the thought that Black History, American History might be in vain. This country has had great moments. God has shined His light upon us. Today, I hope that Great Moments begin in peaceful & progressive conversation. I am willing to be a bridge. I don’t mind “These Stones”, if they allow me to be a voice for the voiceless. I am here. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about what matters,”. I am here, representing you, because this is what matters.” – Chrisette Michele #NoPoliticalGenius We Can’t Be Present If We’re Silent | LINK IN BIO

A photo posted by chrisettemichele (@chrisettemichele) on

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