It was a day that many won’t soon forget — we know some of you have tried! — but no one, aside from the man himself, will remember the 2017 presidential inauguration of Donald Trump quite like R&B sensation Chrisette Michelle.
Well, “former” R&B sensation, we should say.
The GRAMMY-winning chanteuse made a fateful decision seven years ago this weekend on the night of January 20, 2017 by performing a duet alongside gospel act Travis Greene, a multiple award winner and chart-topper himself. However, while Greene has continued to receive GRAMMY nominations, see his songs go #1 on the Billboard Gospel charts and even win four Stellar Awards the following year in 2018, including the coveted “Artist of the Year” trophy, Chrisette was virtually excommunicated by liberals and the left-leaning Black community in general — read: “Black Twitter.” Capitol Records dropped her before the year’s end, and she’s yet to put out another studio album since, aside from a self-released 2018 EP, Out of Control, which went criminally and purposefully ignored.
She had sucessfully been, as it’s now popularly referred to, cancelled by the culture.
Nearly a decade later, as the anniversary of her career-altering decision nears, Chrisette decided to speak out on the subject in the form of a TED Talk at Atlanta-based HBCU, Morris Brown College.
Talking with clarity, crisp enunciation and an overall mission to face cancel culture headfirst by recollecting on her own experiences with it, the “Be OK” singer spoke honestly about the incident that led to her public shunning and what she was ultimately trying to accomplish by performing for Trump in the first place.
“Like many of you, I didn’t vote for [Trump],” Michele said boldly, further adding in her speech intro, “Like many of you, I felt the collective break in the country’s heart and the hearts of millions. So, I decided to sing a song I thought could heal. The song written by Travis Greene was called ‘Intentional.’ He took the first verse; I took the second. Instead of ‘healing,’ there was a media onslaught of ‘hate’ — somehow Travis’ music shot up the charts, but I was deemed ‘cancelled’ by the loudest voices of social media. While I despise talking about the cultural phenomenon that is ‘cancel culture,’ I still to this day can’t get through an interview without being asked about it. So, I decided to take this opportunity to share my thoughts on the matter once and for all.”
In the same vain that we recently spoke on forgiving Lil Nas X in wake of his apology for the “J CHRIST” music video that many deemed ‘blasphemous,’ can the same be said for Chrisette Michele? Sure, it should’ve been clear as day from jump that aligning with Trump wouldn’t end well — was Kanye not a big enough example?! — but maybe we can begin on a real path of healing now that our nation is far removed from the reign of Agent Orange.
Besides, you don’t miss “If I Have My Way,” “What You Do” with Ne-Yo, “Lost Ones” with Jay-Z, “Can’t Forget About You” with Nas, “Aston Martin Music” — that chorus, y’all! — or her 2009 breakup anthem “Epiphany” yet?!
Watch Chrisette Michele’s full TED Talk titled “Cancel That!” at Morris Brown College below, and continue scrolling to see what some on social media are saying about her being potentially vindicated (or not):
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