Jennifer Holliday ‘received death threats’ ahead of Trump inauguration performance
Jennifer Holliday, who backed out of performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony later this week, received death threats ahead of the performance, sources have said.
The Broadway star said she had a “lapse in judgement” when agreeing to perform at the swearing-in ceremony and dropped out last week.
Holliday, who has won a Grammy and a Tony, wrote an open letter to her fans in which she apologised and thanks them for supporting her since the beginning of her career.
But according to sources who spoke to TMZ, Holliday had received death threats, and despite not fearing for her own safety, feared for the safety of her family.
The rep told TMZ that the LGBT outcry, as well as the threats, were factors in her decision to pull out.
The source told TMZ: “It was all of those things. She wasn’t scared to perform. She didn’t want to put her family at risk based on the death threats and she also didn’t want to offend the LGBT community which was especially upset that a past ally would perform on a program with President-Elect Donald Trump.”
Initially, Holliday who voted for Hillary Clinton, accepted the performance and defended it by saying it was “non-political”.
In the letter, which was written exclusively for The Wrap, Holliday writes that she hoped she could keep in tradition as a “bi-partisan songbird”.
It reads: “TO MY BELOVED LGBT COMMUNITY: Please allow me this opportunity to speak to you directly and to explain why I originally made my decision to perform at the inauguration which was what I had thought would be my simply keeping in my tradition of being a “bi-partisan songbird” having sung for Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush.
“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”… I thought, For America!
I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country… 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.”
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Holliday explained that she wanted her voice to unite a divided America, but realised from reading response articles that singing at the inauguration ceremony is not the way, and so she apologises.
“In light of the information pointed out to me via the Daily Beast article on yesterday, my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!
“I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement, 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.
“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… 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.,” she added.
Holliday signed the letter of by thanking her fans for the realisation.
“Thank you for communicating with me, I had no idea that I still meant so much to all of you. Thank you for your posted comments both the good supportive ones as well as the ugly hurtful ones. With LOVE & Appreciation, JENNIFER HOLLIDAY ‘The Original DreamGirl’.”