Rebecca Ferguson has confirmed she will not be performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration later this month.
The former X Factor contestant had previously said she would accept the invitation if she could perform protest song Strange Fruit, but she has officially declined to sing for Trump because she feels uncomfortable with the song that was picked for her.
Taking to Twitter, the 33-year-old singer said: “Due to circumstances beyond my control concerning the offer to perform at the Inauguration Concert, I was thrown into the middle of a political arena last week.
“I wasn't comfortable with the song choice made on my behalf, and although I'm very blessed to have a gift that gives me amazing opportunities, as a mother and an artist, I had to defend my stance.
"That is why I made the decision to sing Strange Fruit when I was invited.”
Ferguson initially said she had requested to sing Strange Fruit as she felt it was the only song that would not compromise her artistic integrity.
Originally a 1937 poem by Abel Meeropol, Strange Fruit is about the lynching of African-Americans in Southern states in the early 20th Century and was made famous when sung by Billie Holiday in 1939.
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Writing on TwitLonger about her invitation to perform at the inauguration in Washington DC and subsequent stipulation earlier this month, Ferguson described Strange Fruits as "a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial".
"A song that speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States," she continued. "A song that is a reminder of how love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in this world."
Ferguson concluded by saying if she is given the go-ahead to perform Holiday's classic, "then I will graciously accept your invitation and see you in Washington".