Singer Chrisette Michele was upset she didn’t get a chance to shake Donald Trump’s hand at his inauguration last week (20Jan17) after all she went through to perform for America’s new leader.
The R&B star didn’t hesitate when she was asked to sing for Trump, and insists she was never going to back down, even after criticism from the African-American community prompted Jennifer Holliday to drop out of the inauguration.
“After seeing what happened to Jennifer Holliday, I literally turned my phone off because I knew if I was going to make any type of decision, I couldn’t be swayed left or right by what anybody thought,” the defiant young star tells Billboard. “I had to just go with my own convictions.”
Chrisette, who also changed her phone number, insists the Trump gig was a big deal for her, because she wanted to make a stand for black women.
“The first thing I thought was that I have an opportunity to get in front of these people who don’t seem to understand who they’re talking to and show them what we look like,” she says. “I felt automatically committed to making sure that I stood up for the women who’ve felt disrespected and the minorities who felt disrespected, communities that felt that they weren’t being heard or understood.”
But she didn’t get a chance to meet the new U.S. leader because her performance schedule was changed at the last minute.
“Originally I was supposed to perform directly after his first speech, and I had done that with Barack Obama before, so I was used to that kind of experience,” she continues. “The woman who organized the event came and told me, ‘Now you’re going to go first and he’s going to go after you’.
“I looked her in the eye and said, ‘My family has disowned me. If you decide to Google me, you’ll see that America is writing about me in their newspapers. I’m the black poster child for discord right now, and he’s not going to shake my hand?’”