Whether Chrisette Michele plans to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday remains murky, but the overwhelming majority of the Patchogue native’s fans made their feelings clear about her potential choice Wednesday.
“I’d pay Chrisette to NOT perform,” The Roots’ drummer Questlove tweeted, as reports circulated that the Grammy-winning R&B singer had signed on to perform.
Michele’s representatives did not return phone calls or emails seeking comment. And the “Epiphany” singer’s participation in the festivities has not been confirmed by the inauguration committee the way it has been for country singers Toby Keith and Big & Rich, rockers 3 Doors Down, ’70s pop star Tony Orlando and soul man Sam Moore.
“As an American, I am honored to perform for President-elect Donald Trump,” Moore said in a statement announcing his involvement Tuesday. “I was a participant in the civil rights movement and have seen many positive changes and advancement in my 81 years of living in this wonderful country, but I know we must all join hands and work together with our new president.”
However, most of Michele’s fans do not share that sentiment. Her Instagram is overrun with comments asking her to reconsider her still-unconfirmed decision, along with insults about her career. “You just killed your career,” kab_eville commented on Michele’s Instagram, where her posts normally get under 100 comments, but her most recent one logged more than 1,200 in a day. “I bet Trump don’t know your music but you turned your back on the people who supported you...good luck.”
And Twitter has been equally harsh. “Saw Chrisette Michele trending and thought she died but she’s performing at The Don’s Inauguration, so she only dead to Black Folks,” tweeted @Badboyshun86.
Several reports say Michele and her team sought to keep news of her involvement under the radar fearing the same backlash that Broadway star Jennifer Holliday received when she signed on to perform. Holliday backed out of her performance after receiving complaints from her fans as well as death threats.
Michele scored a No. 1 album with “Epiphany” and landed a Grammy for best urban/alternative performance in 2009. Her distinctive soulful voice made her an in-demand collaborator for everyone from Ne-Yo to Rick Ross and she released her fifth album, “Milestone,” last year on her own label Rich Hipster.