Lizzo plays James Madison’s crystal flute on stage during a DC concert: NPR


Lizzo stands after receiving “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” at the 74th Emmys Awards in Los Angeles earlier this month.

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Fraser Harrison / Getty Images


Lizzo stands after receiving “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” at the 74th Emmys Awards in Los Angeles earlier this month.

Fraser Harrison / Getty Images

Some people visit Washington, D.C. for tourist attractions, such as monuments and museums. They might not be expecting to see history made at a pop concert — but that’s what happened to a square packed of fans at Tuesday night’s Lizzo party.

The classically trained superstar singer, rapper and flute player took a quick but momentous break from the “Private Tour” playlist to play the crystal flute owned by former President James Madison and loaned to her by the Library of Congress.

This is what makes Lizzo the first and only person to play the flute for centuries He said in a tweet.

She wrote, “Nobody has ever heard of this famous crystal flute before.” “Now you have it.”

French flutter made the ornate instrument in 1813 specifically for Madison in honor of his second inauguration, according to Library of Congress. It is said that it is possible that the flute was one of a handful of valuables that former First Lady Dolly Madison took with her from the White House while on the run a little earlier. British forces set fire to Washington, DCin the year 1814.

So how did it make its way onto the Capital One Arena stage and into the hands of the chart-topping artist? With a lot of security, the short answer.

Here is the longer version. The flute is among the more than 1,800 flutes now living in the Library of Congress, which houses the world’s largest collection of this type, according to Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress (a position nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate). It is worth noting that Hayden first woman And the first African American to hold the title.

Friday, Hayden Tagged Lizzo in a tweet Show some library flutes — including Madison’s flutes — and invite her “to come see them and even play a couple when she’s in DC next week.”

“Like your song, it’s good as hell,” she added with a winking emoji.

Lizzo quickly responded to the audience’s invitation with her own enthusiastic tweet:

It’s worth noting that Lizzo was too She has been playing the flute since she was in elementary schoolYou learn first by ear and then in private lessons (I initially dreamed of becoming a musical flute player before getting into rap and singing). She jumps the flute – named Sasha after Beyoncé’s “I’m Sasha Fierce” and has his own Instagram account – often, including in Saturday Night Live and in her face NPR Tiny Desk Concert.

Monday, a the shepherd tweeted that they discovered Lizzo at the Library of Congress and that Hayden personally asked if it was OK with them if she had violated the Library’s “quiet rule” in playing the flute (they said yes, of course). The Library of Congress also gave a hint about its famous visitor, tweet a picture For the banner with a picture of Lizzo and a piece of tape reading, in large letters, “Guest Flute”.

The staff brought the flute on stage at the Lizzo Party the following night. Wearing a shiny jumpsuit, she kissed the instrument very carefully and cautiously carried it to the microphone standing a few steps away, noting, “It’s like playing from a wine glass, so be patient.”

Lizzo lined her fingers and played a clear tone that resonated – then she widened her eyes and sank her tongue in apparent astonishment. She played another role while rocking to the beat, while the audience roared. Then she put the instrument back on and ran back to the microphone.

“I just played the 19th century James Madison crystal flute,” she exclaimed. “We made history tonight!”

She thanked the Library of Congress for “preserving our history and making history great.”

Carrie Arnold, who was in the crowd on Tuesday, told NPR that the moment seemed like a celebration of progress in some way.

“It’s not often that you see the founder’s father’s personal artifacts being restored as a symbol of pop culture and celebration [of] “Empowering Black Women,” she wrote across the text. “It was a unique moment that could only happen in the capital and… the audience was so proud of it.”

the library tweet later That the flute is back safely thanks to an escort from the Capitol Police, he hinted that more Lizzo visits will be shared soon.

Meanwhile, residents of the capital as well as history buffs and Lizzo enthusiasts from all over the world amplify the range Videos on social media and commending all participants for making the memorable moment possible – especially Lizzo for standing up for the importance of history. As she said herself on stage:

“The history is great, guys!”

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