The original Dreamgirl is staying away from Donald Trump’s inauguration. Jennifer Holliday published a letter to her fans explaining why she will not be on stage for the incoming US president.
‘I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country,’ Holliday wrote in a letter to The Wrap. ‘Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.’
The note was published today, 14 January.
She decided not to appear after reading a 13 January article in the Daily Beast that explained why so many of her LGBTI fans were shocked by the decision to sing for politicians who, at the very least, are lukewarm about gay equality.
The Tony and Grammy award winner was scheduled for the Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.
‘The LGBT Community was mostly responsible for birthing my career and I am deeply indebted to you,’ the letter continued. ‘You have loved me faithfully and unconditionally and for so many years you provided me with work even though my star had long since faded.’
Holliday returned to Broadway last year as one of the stars of The Color Purple. Over the past three decades, since her Broadway debut, she’s maintained a solid gay following and performed at Pride events.
Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, and Lee Greenwood are still scheduled to sing at the 19 January concert.