After coming under fire from her fans and celebrity colleagues, R&B and soul singer-songwriter Chrisette Michele is defending her decision to perform at an undisclosed event during Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“We can’t be present if we’re silent,” Michele wrote in an open letter she posted to Twitter Friday.
The Grammy-winner says she is willing to take the heat if it means she can “be a bridge” to bring people together.
“I am willing to be a bridge. I don’t mind These Stones, if they allow me to be a voice for the voiceless,” the singer wrote.
— chrisette michele (@ChrisetteM) January 19, 2017
Though Michele has worked with the likes of Jay Z, John Legend and will.I.am, the 34-year-old star has faced backlash for agreeing to perform for Trump.
Film director Spike Lee said he’s no longer using Michele’s song “Black Girl Magic” in his new Netflix series after he learned of her inauguration event.
“I Wuz Thinkin’ ’bout Using Chrisette’s Song- BLACK GIRL MAGIC In My Netflix Series SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT…. NOT ANYMORE,” Lee wrote in an Instagram post.
Questlove, drummer for The Roots, the longtime in-house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, tweeted on Wednesday that he would pay Michele not to perform at Trump’s inauguration.
I'd pay Chrisette to NOT perform 😔
— Questlove (In E flat) (@questlove) January 18, 2017
Michele joins a growing lineup of inaugural performers; many of them, including Toby Keith, and rock band Three Doors Down, are expected to perform Friday for the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.”
Soul singer and civil rights activist Sam Moore, who also recently defended his decision to perform at the inauguration, is also expected to tale the stage on Friday.