Did you see Lizzo make history playing James Madison's crystal flute?
The beautiful symbolism of Lizzo's crystal flute solo.
No one knew what it would sound like. The crowd was shocked...
It was a flute solo that broke 200 years of silence. Lizzo's fans know that in addition to being exceptionally talented at crafting songs that make us want to get up and dance (if you haven't listened to Juice yet, do yourself a favor), she is also an accomplished flutist.
She made history and broke the Twitter trending top 5 today when she and the Library of Congress incorporated a crown jewel of the LOC's collection into Lizzo's set at a Washington D.C. venue. She got to play James Madison's 200-year-old crystal flute.
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Yes, that James Madison. President, Federalist pen pal to Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, constitutional framer, slaveholder, and author of the 3/5ths compromise.
The flute was created in 1813 for Madison by a renowned French fluter. It's possible that the flute was among the handful of objects that former first lady Dolley Madison famously took with her from the White House as she fled British troops in 1814.
Today, the Library of Congress holds the flute, and they are committed to, as Lizzo states it, "preserving our history and making history freaking cool."
During her performance, the ecstatic Lizzo welcomed a LOC representative onto the stage carrying the 200-year-old flute. Her fans cheered with excitement as the ecstatic singer walked across the stage, reverently gathered the 200-year-old object into her arms, and gingerly carried it to a microphone. She took a moment to check her fingering, joking to the crowd that it was like "playing out of a wine glass." She played a few clear notes on the instrument and thus became the first person in living memory to play it. "We just made history tonight!" she screamed after returning the flute to the Library of Congress representative. "Thank you to the Library of Congress for preserving our history!" she yelled to rapturous audience applause.
Twitter erupted with excitement over the event. One user tweeted, "Lizzo, a Black female superstar, collaborating with Carla Hayden, the first African American and first woman Librarian of Congress, to use a flute from James Madison, the Founding Father who originated the 3/5 Compromise and also the Library of Congress itself? The symbolism!!!"
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The Library of Congress has released footage and photos of Lizzo's rehearsals. Before her performance, Lizzo practiced playing a crystal instrument using a similarly constructed flute. The LOC shared images of Lizzo practicing the trills she planned to play on the crystal flute in the scenic vault at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The flute is among the more than 1,800 flutes in the Library of Congress, which has the most extensive collection in the world. Carla Hayden is the first woman and African American to serve as Librarian of Congress.
History is freaking cool. Thank you to the Library of Congress and Lizzo for showing us how cool it can be.