Broadway singer Jennifer Holliday has long been an advocate for the LGBT community, but she put many of her fans in the community on edge when it was announced that she would sing at Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
The day after her performance was announced, Holliday pulled out. She apologized to fans and explained why she initially accepted the invitation in a letter written on TheWrap.com Saturday.
“I was asked to sing a song for what was presented to me as the ‘Welcome Concert For The People’ — in my mind, I was reflecting on the past times of being asked to sing for presidents, and I only focused on the phrase ‘For The People,” Holliday wrote.
“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,” she continued. “I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement (sic), for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.”
In 1982, Holliday won a two Tony Awards and a Drama Desk Award for her role as Effie in “Dreamgirls.” The following year, she won a Grammy for the Broadway musical’s hit, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” She previously sang for presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, she said in the letter.
Inauguration performances by country singer Toby Keith, rock band 3 Doors Down and “God Bless the U.S.A. singer Lee Greenwood were also announced on Friday.