Ferguson won’t be singing at Trump inauguration


HUERTH, GERMANY - DECEMBER 18: British pop singer Rebecca Ferguson performs during the taping of the anniversary show '30 Jahre RTL - Die grosse Jubilaeumsshow mit Thomas Gottschalk' on December 18, 2013 in Huerth, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)

By BBC Newsbeat

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“I wasn’t comfortable with the song choice made on my behalf, and although I’m very blessed to have a gift that gives me amazing opportunities, as a mother and an artist, I had to defend my stance.

“That is why I made the decision to sing Strange Fruit when I was invited.

“I requested to sing Strange Fruit as I felt it was the only song that would not compromise my artistic integrity and also as somebody who has a lot of love for all people, but has a special empathy as well for African American people and the #blacklivesmatter movement, I wanted to create a moment of pause for people to reflect.”

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Strange Fruit was originally recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939 but was based on a poem by Abel Meeropol.

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A sample from Nina Simone’s 1965 version was used on Kanye West’s Blood On The Leaves in 2013.

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“I genuinely wish your nation nothing but love,” Rebecca Ferguson’s statement continues.

“I would also like to pay homage to a few of your great female artists: Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and the brave and remarkable Eartha Kitt and her beautiful untold story.

“I’ve a lot of love for the United States. It’s a constant source of inspiration to myself, if not the whole world. I genuinely wish you all well and hope I will still get to sing Strange Fruit for you one day.”

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2010 America’s Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho will sing the US national anthem at next Friday’s inauguration.

Rebecca Ferguson, who was the runner-up on The X Factor in 2010, released her fourth studio album – Superwoman – last year.

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