Rebecca Ferguson to sing at Trump inauguration - if she can perform protest song


Former X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson has said she has been invited to perform at Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony, but will only accept if she can sing protest anthem Strange Fruit.

The song, made famous by Billie Holiday, was originally a poem about racism and lynching in America's Deep South and includes the lines: "Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, black bodies swinging in the southern breeze."

Ferguson, who was a runner-up on the singing competition in 2010, confirmed on Twitter that she has been asked to sing at the Washington ceremony.

Global Gift Gala 2016 - London
Global Gift Gala 2016 - London

She said: "I've been asked and this is my answer. If you allow me to sing Strange Fruit - a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial.

"A song that speaks to all the disregarded and downtrodden black people in the United States.

"A song that is a reminder of how love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in this world, then I will graciously accept your invitation and see you in Washington. Best Rebecca X"

Ferguson recently released an album of Billie Holiday covers but did not include Strange Fruit.

Nina's Simone's version was recently sampled on Kanye West's Blood On The Leaves on his album Yeezus.

The Radio City Rockettes will be dancing at the president-elect's inauguration later this month, but their employers have said no dancer will be compelled to attend.

They will join The Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the swearing-in ceremony on January 20, where America's Got Talent star Jackie Evancho will be singing the national anthem.