Lizzo stunned her audience on Tuesday at her concert in Washington, DC, with a historic performance, using a 200-year-old crystal flute that was formerly owned by President James Madison.
The rare crystal flute, whose sound had never been heard before by anyone alive, was taken from the White House in 1814.
“Bitch, I’m scared,” she joked with the audience. “It’s crystal. It’s like playing out of a wine glass.”
The Grammy-winning music star’s proficiency with the flute has long been recognized. She was a classically trained flutist who played the historic instrument for the first time on Tuesday (and so far, the only one).
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden told BuzzFeed News that she was “thrilled” to see the performance and help make it happen. “Lizzo thanked the Library of Congress for making history cool,” Hayden said in a statement. “She made it cooler.”
“NOBODY HAS EVER HEARD THIS FAMOUS CRYSTAL FLUTE BEFORE,” she posted on Twitter. “NOW YOU HAVE.”
According to the Library of Congress, the flute was rescued from the White House in 1814 while the British were occupying Washington, DC, as part of the War of 1812. One of the largest collections in the world, the library currently houses more than 1,800 antique flutes.
Lizzo became a special “flute guest” when Hayden reached out to the pop star on Twitter. “@lizzo we would love for you to come see it and even play a couple when you are in DC next week,” Hayden wrote. “Like your song they are ‘Good as hell.’”
Fans were quick to note the significance of it all. “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,” one wrote, “The symbolism!!!”
The Bill of Rights and a significant portion of the US Constitution were written by James Madison. He was also an enslaver who suggested the Three-Fifths Compromise, which established in the Constitution that Enslaved African-Americans did not count equally with free Americans when determining state populations.