Only Lizzo Got To Play This Founding Father's 200-Year-Old Crystal Flute
She stays making history.
Lizzo just made history, with a piece of history. On Tuesday, Sept. 27, the “About Damn Time” singer performed in Washington, D.C., as part of her Special tour. During the show, she usually takes out her own flute to play a few of her songs; however, this time, Lizzo switched it up in a historical way. She played a flute that was once owned by former President James Madison in the 1800s. Yes, you read that right: Lizzo is apparently the first person in 200 years to have the honor of playing the antique.
Of course, the star didn’t take this achievement lightly. Following her performance, Lizzo tweeted, “NOBODY HAS EVER HEARD THIS FAMOUS CRYSTAL FLUTE BEFORE. NOW YOU HAVE.”
Lizzo also gave a shoutout to the Library of Congress, which houses the flute, for letting her borrow the instrument. “IM THE FIRST & ONLY PERSON TO EVER PLAY THIS PRESIDENTIAL 200-YEAR-OLD CRYSTAL FLUTE,” she said. “THANK YOU @librarycongress.”
According to The New York Times, the flute was escorted on stage with “heavy security” because, you know, it’s 200 years old and very fragile. It was also brought to Lizzo in a protective case, so when she took the flute in her hands Lizzo told the audience she was “scared” to hold it.
“It’s crystal,” she said, as seen in the video she shared on Twitter. “It’s like playing out of a wine glass.”
The singer, who is also a classically trained flutist, played a few notes while twerking. The crowd then erupted in applause, and Lizzo raised the flute in the air before giving it back to Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford, a musical instrument curator at the Library of Congress.
“B*tch, I just twerked and played James Madison’s crystal flute from the 1800s,” Lizzo excitedly told her fans. “We just made history tonight! Thank you to the Library of Congress for preserving our history and making history freaking cool.”
So, how did this all happen? Well, just days before her concert in Washington, D.C., Carla Hayden invited Lizzo to visit the Library of Congress’ flute collection, which is the largest in the world. Hayden is the first woman and first African American to run the Library of Congress.
“It [includes] Pres James Madison’s 1813 crystal flute,” Hayden tweeted on Sept. 23 of the flute collection. “@lizzo we would love for you to come see it and even play a couple when you are in DC next week. Like your song they are ‘Good as hell.’”
Lizzo was more than happy to accept the offer. “IM COMING CARLA! AND IM PLAYIN THAT CRYSTAL FLUTE!!!!!” she wrote back.
Lizzo playing the crystal flute was definitely a big moment: As many people pointed out, Madison, the United States’ fourth president, owned enslaved people and a Virginia plantation built by enslaved Black workers. So the fact that Lizzo, a Black woman, was invited to play the flute by Hayden, a Black woman leading the Library of Congress, was a symbolic moment.
The Washington Post reported that Brett Zongker, a spokesman for the Library of Congress, said Hayden has always wanted to “open up the treasure chest that is the Library of Congress” to share its history with people.
Congrats Lizzo on making history several times over!