Jennifer Holliday pulls out of Trump inauguration performance, apologizes to LGBT community (exclusive)


Jennifer Holliday has canceled her appearance at Donald Trump's inauguration event next week, calling her decision to perform a "lapse of judgement."

In an open letter, obtained exclusively by TheWrap, the "Dreamgirls" star apologized to the LGBT community, saying she was "uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans."

The Tony and Grammy winner came under fire from gay fans on Friday after it was announced that she was set to perform at a concert as part of Trump's inauguration festivities.

Also Read:Jennifer Holliday Confirms She Will Perform at Trump Inauguration

Holliday, considered a longtime LGBT ally, explained that she changed her mind after reading a Friday Daily Beast story titled, "Jennifer Holliday Will Perform at Trump's Inauguration, Which Is Heartbreaking to Gay Fans."

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Jennifer Holliday through the years
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Jennifer Holliday through the years
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 25: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the 28th Annual Grammy Awards on February 25, 1986 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Jennifer Holliday and Cher at the 'Dreamgirls' opening night afterparty. Taken in Los Angeles at the Shubert Theater in Century City on March 20, 1983. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - MAY 4: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the Apollo Theater's 50th Anniversary Celebration on May 4, 1985 at the Apollo Theater in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
CHICAGO - 1985: Singer Jennifer Holliday performs at the New Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois in 1985. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - FEBRUARY 28: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the American Museum of the Moving Image Salute to Sidney Poitier on February 28, 1989 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Jennifer Holliday, Smokey Robinson, and Herbie Hancock holding an award for Outstanding Performance in a Musical Special during the 1988 ACE awards for cable television, Los Angeles, California, January 20, 1988. (Photo by Clarence Gatson/Gado/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - MARCH 17: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the 'That's What Friends Are For: Arista Records' 15th Anniversary Concert' to Benefit AIDS Research - After Party on March 17, 1990 at the Tavern on the Green in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 31: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the Foundation for Education Research's Labor Day LA! Gala to Benefit AIDS Research on August 31, 1991 at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
CHICAGO - 1996: Singer Jennifer Holliday poses for photos after her performance at the DuSable Museum in Chicago, Illinois in 1996. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - MAY 31: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the Broadway's Stars in the Alley Free Concert to Kick-Off the 49th Annual Tony AWards on May 31, 1995 at Shubert Alley in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Actress Jennifer Holliday under the marquee of the Shubert Theater where she plays Matron Mama Morton in the musical 'Chicago.' (Photo by James Keivom/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 7: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the 52nd Annual Tony Awards on June 7, 1998 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
388395 11: ***EXCLUSIVE*** Singer Gladys Knight and singer Jennifer Holliday rehearse April 26, 2001 for the Essence Awards at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by George De Sota/Newsmakers)
Jennifer Holliday during APLA's 'Ten-Year Commitment to Life' Gala Benefit at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Jennifer Holliday during G&P Foundation for Cancer Research Announces Recipients of 1.8 Million in Grants at 'Denim & Diamonds' Fundraiser at Planet Hollywood in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Jennifer Holliday during Macy's & American Express Passport Gala - Show at Barker Hanger in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Chris Weeks/FilmMagic)
Preston Bailey and Jennifer Holliday during Sixth Annual Elle Decor's 'Dining by Design', Presented by Champagne Taittinger at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by J. Countess/WireImage)
CENTURY CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 6: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center's 33rd Aniversary and Auction at the Westin Century Plaza Hotel on November 6, 2004 in Century City, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Jennifer Holliday during 'Preston Bailey's Fantasy Weddings' Book Party at The Rainbow Room in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Robin Platzer/FilmMagic)
Jennifer Holliday during Apollo 2005 Spring Benefit at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, United States. (Photo by Mychal Watts/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MARCH 19: Actress Jennifer Holliday attends the Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS Presents Nothing Like A Dame 2007 after party at John's Pizza March 19, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Jennifer Holliday and Jennifer Hudson perform 'And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going' (Photo by Michael Caulfield/WireImage for BET Network)
LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 5: Singers Bianca Ryan (L) and Jennifer Holliday perform at Operation Smile's 25th Anniversary Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 5, 2007 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Singer Jennifer Holliday performs onstage during the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at Marriott Marquis on March 28, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)
ATLANTA - JULY 20: Left to Right Cindy Herron-Braggs, Jennifer Holliday and Kiara Bennett Preforming in the Musical 'DreamGirls' (Photo by Moses Robinson/WireImage)
MIAMI - NOVEMBER 29: Singer Jennifer Holliday performs at The White Party at Vizcaya on November 29, 2008 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Logan Fazio/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Singer Jennifer Holliday performs at The Apollo Theater's 78th Season Of Amateur Night - Opening Night With Jennifer Holliday at The Apollo Theater on February 1, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Jennifer Holliday performs at The Apollo Theater's 78th Season Of Amateur Night - Opening Night With Jennifer Holliday at The Apollo Theater on February 1, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Shahar Azran/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 23: Singers Jennifer Holliday (L) and Jessica Sanchez perform onstage during Fox's 'American Idol 2012' results show at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on May 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 11: Jennifer Holliday attends the Thurgood Marshall College Fund 25th Awards Gala on November 11, 2013 in Washington City. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Thurgood Marshall College Fund)
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 25: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the Get On Up premiere at Regal Cinemas-Atlantic Station on July 25, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: Jennifer Holliday performs at BB King on September 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 06: Singer Jennifer Holliday performs onstage at Grounded in History, Soaring into the Future: Rev. Joseph E. Lowery's 94th Birthday Celebration at Delta flight Museum on October 6, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24: Jennifer Holliday performs at Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington on January 24, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 28: Singer Jennifer Holliday performs onstage at John Lewis 75th Birthday Celebration at The Tabernacle on March 28, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 23: Singer Jennifer Holliday attends the 2016 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on June 23, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images for ASCAP)
THE VIEW - 'The View's' Karaoke Contest airs today, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. The co-hosts sing their favorite hits with surprise guest, Jennifer Holliday while L.A. Reid and Boy George judge. 'THE VIEW' airs 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, JENNIFER HOLLIDAY
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The article claimed that the singer's decision to participate in the inaugural event was "an act that seems to defy everything her most passionate supporters stand for, and even issues she herself has supported throughout her career."

"My only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!"

Holliday ends her letter telling her gay fans: "Please know that I HEAR YOU and I feel your pain. The LGBT Community was mostly responsible for birthing my career and I am deeply indebted to you... You have loved me faithfully and unconditionally and for so many years you provided me with work even though my star had long since faded."

On Friday, Holliday was announced along with Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, Lee Greenwood and other entertainers as performers in a Jan. 19 event at the Lincoln Memorial dubbed "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration."

Many fans were surprised by the inclusion of Holliday, best known as the original Effie White in Broadway's original production of "Dreamgirls," who has been a darling of the Broadway and LGBT communities for decades.

Holliday told the New York Times that she had been "startled and disheartened" by the "venom that greeted the news of her participation."

According to the Times, Holliday "sounded certain about her choice." But her publicist Bill Carpenter later told TheWrap that she had not yet committed to the event, eventually confirming her participation a few hours later.

Read Holliday's full letter below.

TO MY BELOVED LGBT COMMUNITY:

Please allow me this opportunity to speak to you directly and to explain why I originally made my decision to perform at the inauguration which was what I had thought would be my simply keeping in my tradition of being a "bi-partisan songbird" having sung for Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush.

I was asked to sing a song for what was presented to me as the "Welcome Concert For The People"– in my mind I was reflecting on the past times of being asked to sing for presidents and I only focused on the phrase "For The People"... I thought, For America!

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.

In light of the information pointed out to me via the Daily Beast article on yesterday, my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!

I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.

Please know that I HEAR YOU and I feel your pain. The LGBT Community was mostly responsible for birthing my career and I am deeply indebted to you... You have loved me faithfully and unconditionally and for so many years you provided me with work even though my star had long since faded.

Thank you for communicating with me, I had no idea that I still meant so much to all of you.

Thank you for your posted comments both the good supportive ones as well as the ugly hurtful ones.

With LOVE & Appreciation,

JENNIFER HOLIDAY
"The Original DreamGirl"

Read original story Jennifer Holliday Pulls Out of Trump Inauguration Performance, Apologizes to LGBT Community (Exclusive) At TheWrap

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