Though Chrisette Michele may not have missed a single note during her performance at Donald Trump’s inauguration, the choice to sing for the nation’s 45th president didn’t strike the right chord with her entire fan base.
The 34-year-old vocalist has faced massive backlash – largely on social media – and even lost a potential television credit from Spike Lee, who nixed the idea of using one of her songs in his new Netflix series.
“You were supposed to mentor me through this moment, I mean you came before us, you taught us all of the ‘art for change,’” responded Michele, when asked by CNN’s Brooke Baldwin for her reaction to Lee’s statements and decision.
Appearing on Thursday’s live broadcast of “Newsroom,” Michele detailed her reasoning for accepting the inauguration invite in the first place.
“I said, ‘We have to be seen, somebody’s got to see us.’ The Democrats aren’t even coming, I’ve got to be one, and I’ve got to be there.”
The Grammy winner has released “No Political Genius,” a spoken word track that comes in direct response to recent criticism.
“If we’re artists, if we’re supposed to be the people who shake the world with our art, then we’ve got to stand on stages where we’re uncomfortable, and tell our truth,” Michele said
Though the singer-songwriter did not speak directly to the commander in chief during the ceremonies, she says her message to Trump is clear.
“This is what we look like,” she told Baldwin. “I want him to know what we have to say, what we think.”