Chrisette Michele is doing her best in trying to keep her reputation or whatever is left of it clean after news broke about the singer’s decision to perform for Donald Trump’s Inaugural Ball. Social media has since been going strong with Michele’s drag session, many have even deleted her from their playlists. Well through all of that what can be worse right?… try being deleted from your family on top of that!
In an interview with Billboard, the “Epiphany” singer opened up about being disowned by her family and to add insult to injury she didn’t even get to meet Donnie!
“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 said. “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.”
When asked if she took it as a slap in the face she responded:
“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. But I definitely did take the time enough to meet as many of the 60,000 people in the room as I could that night and begin to exchange information. And there were a lot of people who are excited to sit down and talk, who worked on his campaign.”
Michele, who says she “didn’t think twice” about performing, also spoke about avoiding much of the backlash from social media by turning off her phone so she wouldn’t be discouraged by anyone. She said most of the heat that really got to her was from her family as well as her industry friends Spike Lee and Questlove.
“When we got the phone call, and this may sound crazy, there was literally no hesitation. I turned my phone off. 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. I had to just go with my own convictions. I changed my phone number also. I didn’t even think to say no. It didn’t cross my mind. 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.
I’ll say that the backlash, I did personally feel, came from members of my extended family who decided that they didn’t want to speak to me anymore or support my family in supporting me. As far as social media goes, I didn’t really look at it much. The two biggest things that I did experience internally was two celebrities who I had much respect for: Questlove and Spike Lee. Those were kind of the two things that I took a look at.”
She says that even though she did Obama’s inauguration for free, Michele denies only doing the perform because of money and slams rumors that she was paid $750,000.
You can read the rest of her interview here. Do you think her performance did more harm than good? Let’s chat below!
TSR STAFF: Debra Oh! @The_Ebony_Issue on IG