With Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony just over a week away, UK singer Rebecca Ferguson has finally come forward to clarify the rumors that she'd be performing at the event.
At the beginning of 2017, the singer took a stand, stating that she'd happily perform at the inauguration if and only if she could sing "Strange Fruit," a song made famous by Billie Holiday, who first sang and recording the track in 1939. The song, which protests racism, is held in high regard and considered by many to be the anthem for the anti-lynching movement.
Taking to Twitter today (Jan. 10), the X-Factor alum has issued a formal statement further backing up her original offer.
"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," the British singer begins. "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."
The singer then clarifies that her intention behind performing the song was not to "cause contention."
"I requested to sing 'Strange Fruit,' as I felt it was the only song that would not compromise my artistic integrity," Ferguson continues. "And also as somebody who has a lot of love for all people, but has a special empathy as well for African American people and the #blacklivesmatter movement, I wanted to create a moment of pause for people to reflect."
The singer then goes on to detail her beliefs that "love and standing firm in love against anything that separates us from each other can heal us in these troubled times of unrest."
She also adds that while she will not be singing at Trump's inauguration, she still hopes one day she can sing "Strange Fruit" for the American people.
Take a look at Rebecca Ferguson's full statement here.
Inauguration Ceremony update— Rebecca Ferguson (@RebeccaFMusic) January 10, 2017
(Photo: Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/Getty Images for Paramount)