Chrisette Michele is a talented R&B singer known for her appearances on songs by Jay-Z and Nas as well as her song “Strong Black Woman.” However, after singing at one of the inaugural balls for President Donald Trump in 2017, her fans stopped supporting her, according to a story in The Washington Post.
Michele had sang before the Obamas as well as troops in Iraq prior to 2017, and viewed the offer to sing at the inaugural ball as a means of being the “bridge in a fractured nation.” Many advised her not to perform, even her husband who felt that there was a reason the organizer’s of the Trump event wanted a black woman on the stage. Despite never even meeting Trump during the event, she received extreme criticism from the media.
“The fact that she kept talking, kept explaining, kept trying to justify herself, means that it kept surfacing, news cycle after news cycle." -Tammy Kernodle, University of Miami, Ohio; former fan
Michele began to receive death threats and lost a number of fans. She also began to have suicidal thoughts and even suffered a miscarriage which she believe was partly due to the extreme stress felt after the event. For some fans, they felt that seeing a singer who they felt represented them singing at the event was a form of betrayal. But now, Michele is taking the new opportunity to reflect on her past and to perform for the fans who remain. Although her performances are now half full, she keeps a positive energy and mentors other black women. She has also become active is trying to get everyone out to vote.
“On November 6th, we get the opportunity to change the narrative and REBALANCE the scale," she wrote before the midterm elections, below a 2016 photo of her at the White House with the Obamas. "Your voice matters, my voice matters.”