R&B/soul Singer Chrisette Michele granted an interview with the infamous radio show, The Breakfast Club, on New York’s Power 105.1 radio station. In the interview, she took on the heat regarding her decision to perform at the Inaugural Ball for President Donald Trump. The ball took place after the inauguration ceremony on Friday, January 20th.
Recently, Chrisette was scrutinized in the press and on social media for agreeing to after other celebrity musicians either refused to perform or agreed and later backed out. Notable figures such as film producer Spike Lee and Questlove, the face of and drummer for Hip-Hop group The Roots, have given their unsolicited opinions about her choice through their social media platforms. Questlove simply conveyed that he would rather pay Chrisette not to perform, while Spike Lee decided not to use her song, “Black Girl Magic”, in his new Netflix series, “She’s Gotta Have”. Needless to say, no one seemed to be pleased with her decision.
Fortunately for Chrisette, this interview gave her the chance to set the record straight. She openly admitted that when the opportunity presented itself, she immediately said yes without a second thought; even though her manager was against the idea. She believes that her presence made a difference because it afforded her the opportunity to represent so many people who felt like they were left out and didn’t have a voice.
In doing so, she hopes to become the bridge between everyday people and the officials who represent them; making it her mission to bring these people together to start a conversation about how to change things and where to start. According to Chrisette, simply waiting to see what President Trump will do, can cost Americans and people of color their rights, the programs that benefit them, and overall their voices.
Secondly, Chrisette was not promised the amount of money that was rumored on all the blogs. Initially, it was reported that she was offered a quarter million dollars, which made people think that her decision was based primarily on a payday. After she was contacted through her booking agency, Universal Music Group, Chrisette actually had to negotiate her fee. She has chosen not to disclose the amount that was deposited into her bank account; so basically it’s nobodies business.
Many that are upset with Chrisette most likely chose not watch her performance, which was a shame because it was very uplifting. Chrisette chose to sing “Intentional”, with Gospel singer Travis Greene, who is also the song’s original artist. During this interview, she emphasized that she intentionally chose to wear a “Basquiat skirt”, designed by fashion brand Alice + Olivia, which was her way of artistically representing Black history and the many struggles that people of color have faced. The piece was inspired by the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent, who lived and created in Brooklyn during the 70s and 80s.
Here’s a good question, why is everyone up so upset with Chrisette?
Is it because her presence came across as an endorsement for President Trump. Is it the fact that she accepted money from the Trump Administration?
Is it that the hatred for President Trump runs so deep that everyone that is mentioned in the same sentence with his name gets painted with the same red brush; branding them with a pentagram and setting them ablaze? Whatever the grievance may be, it has absolutely nothing to do with the choices of Chrisette Michelle.
This grown woman was contacted to do a job and she got on stage, did her thing, and got paid. The moment she stepped off of the stage nothing had changed; not her color, gender, political views, values, morals, or sense of history.
The only thing that changed was that her talent was exposed to a few million people in the world that had never seen it before. People should not let their issues with President Donald Trump make them forget that an inauguration isn’t about one single person, but the country as a whole. It is about America entering a new chapter and moving forward; reminding everyone that what happens next is ultimately citizens. Even at the highest seat in the country (and arguably the world), President Trump does not have nearly as much power as the people do.
His voice cannot silence our own or drown out shouts in unison. This country has gotten through incompetent officials, terrorist attacks, wars, and threats of mutually assured destruction. If anything Chrisette’s performance should remind everyone that one monkey, no matter how vile, does not stop a show.