Jennifer Holliday Says She Received Death Threats for Agreeing to Perform for Trump

The "Dreamgirls" star dropped out of singing for Trump's inaugural festivities.

ByABC News
January 17, 2017, 3:02 PM

— -- Jennifer Holliday held back tears as she opened up about the backlash she faced for initially agreeing to perform at Donald Trump's inaugural festivities.

"I haven't done anything to be called names," the Tony-winning star of Broadway's "Dreamgirls" said Tuesday on ABC's "The View."

Holliday said she was called the "N-word" and received death threats.

"I woke up, and there was, like, this whole thing of terrible tweets and things on my Instagram, and I was like, 'Oh, Lord, what did I do?'" she recalled after it was announced that she was to be among the performers at the Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.

She later pulled out of the event.

"I live a pretty reclusive life," she told "The View" co-hosts. "You're not on the radio, and then one morning you wake up, and everyone hates you."

The singer said she was open to performing at first "because I'm an artist and I love America."

Holliday has performed for four presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. "It didn't dawn on me that this was a bad thing and we're not doing America right now," she said.

"It was my honest desire that my voice ... could be used as an instrument of healing and unity," she added.

After a letter in The Daily Beast titled "Jennifer Holliday Will Perform at Trump's Inauguration, Which Is Heartbreaking to Gay Fans" was published on Friday, Holliday decided to back out of her commitment.

"The gay community, since 'Dreamgirls,' for 35 years, has been faithfully there for me," she told "The View." "They were hurting and in pain."

Long considered an ally of the LGBT community, she said she didn't want to be perceived as being a "liar" or a "hypocrite" by performing at the inauguration.

"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," she said in an open letter last week announcing her decision not to perform. "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."

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