Yet another of one of President-elect Trump's inauguration performers is defending their decision to take the stage in Washington D.C.
R&B vocalist Chrisette Michele — who was flooded with backlash after agreeing to perform at Trump's inaugural festivities — responded to critics with an open letter suggesting she wants to use her platform to inspire conversation for change and form a bridge for a divided nation.
"My heart is broken for our country, for the hopes of our children, for the fights of those who came before us," Michele began in a message published to Instagram and Twitter. "I cry at the thought that Black History, American History might be in vain."
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"Today, I hope that Great Moments begin in peaceful & progressive conversation," she continued. "I am willing to be a bridge. I don't mind 'These Stones', if they allow me to be a voice for the voiceless."
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The 34-year-old Michele's addition to the inauguration lineup was first reported Wednesday by the Daily News.
Her Twitter and Instagram feeds have been ambushed with pushback ever since, even as she attempted to clarify why she chose to perform on Trump's behalf in her succinct letter.
"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, 'Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about what matters,'" Michele wrote in the letter, before switching back to her own voice. "I am here, representing you, because this is what matters."
Michele's decision to perform clealry hit a low note with filmmaker Spike Lee, who expressed his disappointment Thursday and announced he won't be using her music in an upcoming project.
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"I Wuz Sorry To Read That "Sistuh Girl" Is Singin' At DT's Inauguration (And To Use His Fav Word-SAD)," Lee wrote on Instagram. "I Wuz Thinkin' 'bout Using Chrisette's Song- BLACK GIRL MAGIC In My Netflix Series SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT.... NOT ANYMORE. And Dat's Da Truth, Ruth."
Michele joins other inauguration performers including classical crossover group The Piano Guys and 81-year-old soul singer Sam Moore who have tried to explain their motives for taking the stage to fans amid backlash.
Toby Keith, meanwhile, reacted to the criticism by arguing he has nothing to be sorry for.
"I don't apologize for performing for our country or military," he told Entertainment Weekly last week.
The first round of inauguration performances, including Keith, kicks off at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Lincoln Memorial's "Make America Great Again" welcome event.Send a Letter to the Editor