Chrisette Michele is opening up for the first time about performing at Donald Trump’s inaugural ball. In a sit down with Billboard, she discusses whether or not she really performed for $750,000, why she did not turn down the opportunity and all of the backlash she has been receiving. She even says that after being disowned by her family, she didn’t even get to meet the president.
“I didn’t even think to say no. It didn’t cross my mind,” said Chrisette. “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. 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. I thought that it was almost my responsibility to not just say yes but to say yes with purpose, so that was my reasoning. And no, I didn’t think twice about it.”
Chrisette then addressed the rumors that she performed for Trump for $750k. “We sent in an offer for how much we charge and they said, ‘Well we don’t have that,’ and the first thing I thought then was how I sang for Barack Obama and Michelle Obama free of charge. This is not a money thing,” she told Billboard. When asked if she performed for Trump for free, she replied, “No, I didn’t perform for free. One, it wasn’t $750,000, but my manager did negotiate my contract.”
Chrisette Michele also mentions to Billboard that she was frustrated that she never got to even meet Donald Trump, despite all the backlash she received online and from her own family.
“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. And 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?” So no, I didn’t get to meet him… I know he has a lot of other things going on. I don’t know if, like Barack and Michelle, he’s listening to my album or that I’ll be on his summer playlist, so I don’t want to take it that way. I’d rather be optimistic and think that they’ll come another chance where I can talk to him.”
And if you’ve been wondering why Chrisette Michele has been tagging her posts with #NoPoliticalGenius, it’s because she’s working on a television series of the same name.
You can read the entire interview HERE.