Donald Trump had a hard time finding people that would disrespect themselves enough to perform at his inauguration, but his team did manage to lock in Chrisette Michele to sing at one of Trump’s official inaugural balls. The singer, of course, faced significant backlash for the decision to perform, including from former collaborator Questlove, who even said he’s pay her not to sing. But she went along with it anyway, and even released a new song a couple days after the inauguration in a misguided attempt to do some damage control.
But now Michele says she has had a change of heart. In an appearance on The Breakfast Club today, she says she “regret[s] everything that happened. I think that was a bad choice.” As Pitchfork points out, she apologized for supporting Trump: “I knew that he wasn’t a good choice for the presidency. That was something we all knew together. But there’s always gotta be some sense of hope. Again, that stage, that message on that stage was the wrong time and the wrong place. And I apologize deeply for the people that I hurt.”
Here’s more from Michele:
A lot of times when you have a message of hope, a lot of times when you have a message of healing, you think—you know, maybe it’s a self-righteous thing, maybe it’s a mistake to feel that way—but you think, “Man, if I just tell people everything is gonna be OK, they’ll hear me.”
Because I’ve been doing that for years, so I just thought the amount of times I’ve done it—when I sing my own music, right, and then I sing a gospel song at my concerts, those are usually the songs that get the most response. So, I just thought that bringing that to that moment where everybody was hurting, including myself, would be helpful. And I was wrong, and I offended a lot of people.
And here’s the full interview: