Lizzo became public enemy #1 for many conservatives in recent days. The R&B/Pop musician playing former President James Madison’s crystal flute triggered numerous right-wing pundits.
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden encouraged Lizzo to use the historic instrument during her concert in Washington, DC. That on-stage moment went viral as supporters cheered the classically-trained flutist, while critics slammed the performance.
“This Lizzo-flute controversy is a perfect example of what I have termed Face Tattoo Phenomenon™: the phenomenon whereby someone does something deliberately controversial in an attempt to draw attention, and then acts offended when you notice,” tweeted political commentator Ben Shapiro.
The following day, Carla Hayden tweeted, “[Lizzo] is not the first musician (and she won’t be the last) to play instruments at [The Library of Congress]. Gershwin honorees [Smokey Robinson] and [Lionel Richie] have played on the Gershwin piano and Yo-Yo Ma played the Stradivari cello.”
Apparently, The Montpelier Foundation falls into the supporter category. TMZ reportedly spoke to someone associated with the Madison family’s Montpelier estate in Virginia, and they want Lizzo to visit the location and possibly play the 200-year-old flute at the site.
Montpelier was the official home of James Madison and his wife Dolley Madison. At one point during their time at the residence, the Madisons owned at least 100 enslaved African-Americans. James Madison also brought some of his slaves to the White House during his presidency from 1809 to 1817, according to historians.
Lizzo is currently traveling the continent for The Special Tour with opening acts Latto and Saucy Santana. The North American leg kicked off in Florida last month. Lizzo released her fourth studio album, Special, in July.
Special hosts the “About Damn Time” single which peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Lizzo presently has two Number Ones in her career. Her hit “Truth Hurts” topped the Hot 100 in 2019.