Jennifer Holliday on inauguration backlash: ‘You wake up and everybody hates you’

Stage Actress and vocalist Jennifer Holliday performs at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on May 5, 2005 to celebrate Disneyland in California's 50th anniversary. While appearing on "The View," Holliday explained why she decided to cancel her performance at Trump's upcoming inauguration and her experience with online bullying. File Photo by Marino-Cantrell/UPI

Jan. 18 (UPI) — Jennifer Holliday appeared on “The View” Tuesday to discuss why she decided to cancel her performance at Donald Trump‘s upcoming inauguration.

“I woke up, and there was, like, this whole thing of terrible tweets and things on my Instagram, and I was like, ‘Oh, Lord, what did I do?'” the singer recalled.

“I live a pretty reclusive life. I pretty much stay to myself. You’re not on the radio and then one morning you wake up and everybody hates you,” she continued.

The Broadway star explained that she originally agreed to join the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” because she is an artist and loves America.

“It was my really honest desire that my voice could be used — not everybody loves the way I sing, but still — my voice could be used as an instrument of healing and unity, and I thought we had instructions from the Obamas and the Clintons that it was a go-ahead,” Holliday proclaimed. “We were going to do a ceasefire for one day, and I just thought it was OK.”

Holliday said she was bullied online and received death threats for agreeing to the performance.

“They were saying I should kill myself or someone should kill me all over singing a song,” she said.

Known for her role as Effie White in the original 1981 stage production of “Dreamgirls,” Holliday has performed for presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

In an open letter addressed to the LGBT community, Holliday announced she was dropping out of the inauguration, writing, “I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country.”

“Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence,” she continued.

Also on “The View,” Holliday gave a live performance of “Come Sunday” with cohost Whoopi Goldberg noting, “The inauguration’s loss is our gain.”


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