Jennifer Holliday held back tears as she opened up about the backlash she faced for initially agreeing to perform at Donald Trump ‘s inaugural festivities.
“I haven’t done anything to be called names,” the Tony-Award-winning star of Broadway’s “Dreamgirls” said Tuesday on ABC’s “The View. “
The singer said she was called the “n-word” and received death threats.
“I woke up and there was like this whole thing of terrible tweets and things on my Instagram, and I was like, ‘Oh Lord, what did I do,'” Holliday recalled after it was announced that she was among the lineup of performers at the “Make America Great! Again Welcome Celebration. “
Holliday later pulled out of the event.
“I live a pretty reclusive life,” she told “The View” co-hosts. “You’re not on the radio and then one morning you wake up and everyone hates you. “
“Because I’m an artist and I love America! ” @LadyJHOLLIDAY says of why she originally planned to perform at a Trump inauguration event. pic.twitter.com/AxDOAvsLl8
The singer said she was open to performing at first “because I’m an artist and I love America. “
Holliday has performed for four other presidents — Ronald Reagan , George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. “It didn’t dawn on me that this was a bad thing and we’re not doing America right now,” she said.
“It was my honest desire that my voice…could be used as an instrument of healing and unity,” she added.
After a letter in The Daily Beast , titled “Jennifer Holliday Will Perform at Trump’s Inauguration , Which Is Heartbreaking to Gay Fans” was published last Friday, Holliday decided to back out of her commitment.
“The gay community since ‘Dreamgirls’ for 35 years has been faithfully there for me,” she told “The View. ” “They were hurting and in pain. “
Long considered an ally of the LGBT community, the singer said she didn’t want to be perceived as being a “liar” or a “hypocrite” by performing at the inauguration.
“Please know that I HEAR YOU and I feel your pain. The LGBT Community was mostly responsible for birthing my career and I am deeply indebted to you,” she said in an open letter last week announcing her decision not to perform. “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. “