Lizzo Makes History In DC: “Bitch, I Just Twerked And Played James Madison’s Crystal Flute From The 1800s”

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Lizzo Makes History In DC: “Bitch, I Just Twerked And Played James Madison’s Crystal Flute From The 1800s”

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

James Madison was the fourth president of the United States. He was instrumental in the various compromises that led to the creation of the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights. Madison led the US into the War Of 1812 and into the early stages of westward expansion. He sometimes made conflicted statements about slavery, but he was a prominent Virginia slaveowner who never freed the people he owned. Also, James Madison owned a crystal flute, and now Lizzo has played that flute onstage.

Madison’s crystal flute was a gift from the Parisian craftsman Claude Laurent, who created ornate bejeweled glass flutes that were popular among royalty and heads of state in the early 19th century. Laurent gifted Madison his crystal flute in honor of his second inauguration in 1813, and it’s one of only two known crystal flutes that Laurent ever made. The instrument is now on display at the Library Of Congress. Last week, Library Of Congress rep Carla Hayden invited Lizzo to come play Madison’s flute when her tour came to Washington. Lizzo was enthusiastic.

Lizzo is a classically trained flutist who studied the instrument at the University Of Houston and who has made her flute abilities a part of her whole pop-star act. At this point, she’s probably the world’s most famous flutist. When Lizzo accepted the invitation to the Library Of Congress, the institution made a whole social-media event of it.

Last night, Lizzo played Washington, DC’s Capital One Arena. During her set, Library Of Congress reps came out onstage and presented Lizzo with that crystal flute, which, at least according to Lizzo, had never been played before last night. Lizzo gingerly played a few notes on it, and then she played a few more notes while twerking. After gingerly handing the instrument back to the Library representative, Lizzo made an announcement to the crowd: “Bitch, I just twerked and played James Madison’s crystal flute from the 1800s! We just made history tonight! Thank you to the Library Of Congress for preserving our history, and thank you to history for being cool! History is freaking cool, you guys!” You can watch that whole thing happen below.

On Lizzo’s Instagram post about the flute, one of the comments comes from Grimes: “This is the most high fantasy thing I’ve ever seen in the real world omg. A mythical crystal flute no one has ever heard play? This is some elf shit.”

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