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29th Sep 2022

Lizzo twerks as she plays 200-year-old crystal flute in historic performance

Steve Hopkins

‘B***h, I just twerked and played James Madison’s flute from the 1800s!’

Lizzo has made music-history, by playing a 200-year-old crystal flute that once belonged to US President James Madison, a founding father, while twerking.

The unexpected performance happened during a concert in Washington DC on Tuesday, with the Grammy-winning pop star telling the audience, “Bitch, I’m scared” before she played a tune.

“It’s crystal. It’s like playing out of a wine glass,” she explained.

Lizzo, who has long been known for her talent on the flute and is classically trained, became the first (and so far only) person known to have played the historic instrument.

As she was passed the precious instrument, the singer told the audience: “This is crazy. I have to be really careful.

“This is from the early 1800s, this was a gift to James Madison from a French crystal flute designer to celebrate his second term.

“There was a fire… and the only two things that were saved were a portrait of George Washington and this crystal flute right here.

“I am the first person to ever play it, so you’re about to hear what it sounds like for the first time.

“Thank you to the Library of Congress for preserving our history and making history cool. History is freaking cool, you guys!”

She then told the screaming crowd: “B***h, I just twerked and played James Madison’s flute from the 1800s!”

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden told BuzzFeed News that she was “thrilled” to see the performance and help make it happen.

“Lizzo thanked the Library of Congress for making history cool,” Hayden said in a statement.

“She made it cooler.”



The flute, according to the Library of Congress, was rescued from the White House in 1814 during the British invasion of Washington, DC, during the War of 1812.

The library currently hosts more than 1,800 historical flutes — one of the largest collections in the world.

Lizzo became a special “flute guest” when Hayden reached out to the pop star on Twitter. “@lizzo we would love for you to come see it and even play a couple when you are in DC next week,” Hayden wrote.

“Like your song they are ‘Good as hell.’”

The significant of the occasion wasn’t lost on Lizzo’s fans who were both impressed and amused.

“Lizzo, a Black female superstar, collaborating with Carla Hayden, the first African American and first woman Librarian of Congress, to use a flute from James Madison,” one wrote, “The symbolism!!!”

“librarians continue to rule,” another said.

James Madison is known for drafting the Bill of Rights and much of the US Constitution, BuzzFeed noted. He was also an enslaver and proposed what became the Three-fifths Compromise, under which the Constitution spelled out that enslaved Black Americans didn’t count as much as free Americans in determining state population.

“I love that this history is now part of the flute’s history,” another said.

The Library of Congress’s Twitter has also been sharing some clips of Lizzo playing other historic flutes, including one made of plexiglass, during a visit to the library on Monday.

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