Always a trailblazer, Lizzo pulled off another first on her Washington, DC leg of her tour – playing an approximately 200-year-old crystal flute that once belonged to a former US president.
The “About Damn Time” singer and accomplished flautist carefully played the delicate wood, which was given as a gift to James Madison in 1813 by French flute maker Claude Laurent. The Library of Congress kept the flute in its vault for decades before allowing Lizzo to play it on stage.
In pictures shared by onlookers, Lizzo handled the flute with enthusiasm and delicacy under the watchful eye of library staff and Capitol police. She briefly shared the history of the flute with her audience and said she was “the first person to play it.”
“B***h, I’m scared,” she said to laughter from the audience. “It’s crystal. It’s like playing in a wine glass, b***h, so be patient.
According to a shared Lizzo video on social networks. Then she blew some more floaty notes on it, twerking carefully as she played, as is her signature. After a few seconds, she held the flute up in the air, victorious, and carefully handed it back to the waiting staff a few feet away.
“B, *** h, I just twerked and played James Madison’s crystal flute from the 1800s,” she said in disbelief. “We just made history tonight!”
Lizzo then thanked the library for “preserving our history” and reminded her fans that “history is really cool.”
Earlier this week, the Library of Congress invited Lizzo to tour its collection of 1,700 flutes, the largest in the world, according to the library. She first carefully played the flute there before “serenading the employees and a few researchers” with a “more practical” woodwind, the Library said.
Lizzo asked the library if she could play the famous flute for a few moments during her show in Washington, and the library agreed, although she sent Capitol police and several other security personnel. with the flute to ensure his safety.
The recent Emmy winner regularly plays the flute at her concerts and has experimented with other rare and valuable flutes, including an 18-karat gold instrument, although she has a soft spot for a wood named Sasha Flute.
The flute is exceptionally rare: The Library of Congress has 20 Lawrence flutes in its vault, but this is only one of two made of crystal, according to the Library. Madison’s custom flute contained a silver seal, engraved with her name.
But his journey to the Library’s collection was tortuous and spanned more than 100 years. The flute may have been saved by first lady Dolley Madison during the White House fire in 1814, the Library said. It came into the possession of Dolley Madison’s son from her first marriage, John Payne Todd, who bequeathed it to Washington-based Dr. Cornelius Boyle.
Boyle’s descendants allowed the flute to be displayed in 1903 at the U.S. National Museum, an original part of the Smithsonian Institution, until Dayton C. Miller, another physician and woodwind enthusiast, purchased it. He later donated the crystal flute, along with 1,700 instruments, to the library in 1941, where the flute remained until its stage debut with Lizzo.