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Tags: rebecca ferguson | inauguration | strange fruit

Rebecca Ferguson Agrees to Inauguration Gig If She Can Sing 'Strange Fruit'

Rebecca Ferguson Agrees to Inauguration Gig If She Can Sing 'Strange Fruit'

Rebecca Ferguson performs at Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield, U.K., on Nov. 11, 2016. (Rex Features via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 January 2017 02:31 PM EST

Singer and former "X Factor" star Rebecca Ferguson said she's been asked to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s Inauguration ceremony, and she will under one condition: She wants to perform "Strange Fruit."

"I've been asked and this is my answer," Ferguson said in a statement on Twitter. "If you allow me to sing 'Strange Fruit,' a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial. A song that speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States. A song that is a reminder of how love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in this world, then I will graciously accept your invitation and see you in Washington. Best Rebecca X.”

"Strange Fruit" was performed by award-winning vocalist/pianist Nina Simone over 50 years ago as part of a soundtrack for the Civil Rights Movement.

The song was written in 1937 by Abel Meeropol, a New York City teacher, as a protest against racism, and specifically lynching, in the U.S. Since then, the song has been recorded and performed by many other artists, including Billie Holiday, Herbie Hancock, and Marcus Miller.

The lyrics read: "Southern trees bear strange fruit / Blood on the leaves and blood at the root / Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze / Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees."

Ferguson is the latest artist to be approached by Trump’s team about performing at the Jan. 20 inauguration. Many artists have declined the same invitation, including Elton John, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Aretha Franklin, and Bruno Mars.

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TheWire
Singer and former "X Factor" star Rebecca Ferguson said she's been asked to perform at President-elect Donald Trump's Inauguration ceremony, and she will under one condition: She wants to perform "Strange Fruit."
rebecca ferguson, inauguration, strange fruit
274
2017-31-03
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 02:31 PM
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