Lizzo made history on Tuesday by playing a crystal flute owned by former United States President James Madison live on stage during a show in Washington, D.C. The concert at Capitol One Arena was the first time the 200-year-old instrument had ever been played.
Taking a break from the positive affirmations found on her new album Special, Lizzo took a hard turn to dig into a little history. Unveiling the transparent flute, she explained that the instrument was given to the fourth president of the United States by a French flute maker and was rescued alongside a portrait of George Washington when the original White House burned down during the Burning of Washington by British soldiers in 1814.
“I am the first person to ever play it,” Lizzo said, “so you’re about to hear what it sounds like for the first time.”
There to hand off the crystal flute to Lizzo, who is a classically trained flutist, was a representative of the Library of Congress. Prior to the show, the government institution invited Lizzo to come and examine its extensive archive of flutes and even play a few of them,
“This is crazy. I have to be really careful,” Lizzo said on stage as she received the instrument. “It’s crystal. It’s like playing out a wine glass, bitch, so be patient.”
The triple-threat played a few ascending notes on the flute while also throwing in some twerking. After a few moments, she handed it back to the representative as her face lit up on the giant LED screen.
“Bitch, I just twerked and played James Madison’s flute from the 1800s!” She exclaimed. “Thank you to the Library of Congress for preserving our history and making history cool. History is freaking cool, you guys!”
Watch Lizzo play a crystal flute owned by James Madison in Washington, D.C. Her Special tour continues tomorrow, September 29th, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Tickets and a full list of tour dates are available here.
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