Rebecca Ferguson Will Perform At The Inauguration On One Condition

The former 'X-Factor' finalist will only appear if she can sing Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit."

By Shawn Cooke Jan 3, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump has been desperate to add some A-list talent to his inauguration proceedings. Most every performer he's sought out has refused—some politely, some not-so-politely. The short list currently includes a bizarre combination of Jackie Evancho, The Reagan Years (an '80s cover band that only performs music released during Ronald Regan’s presidency), and the Rockettes, who don't have much of a say in the matter.

Trump's latest target, British singer Rebecca Ferguson, hasn't closed the door on performing—but she's also laid out some terms that will be hard to imagine him accepting. The former X-Factor runner-up has agreed to perform at the inauguration, but only if she's allowed to sing "Strange Fruit," a song popularized by Billie Holiday which confronts lynching and racism. In a statement posted to Twitter, Ferguson writes that if she's allowed to perform "a song that is a reminder of how love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in the world, then I will graciously accept your invitation."

You can read the full statement below.

I've been asked and this is my answer. 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.