Lizzo Plays James Madison’s 200-Year-Old Crystal Flute
Lizzo made history Tuesday night (September 27) with a 200-year-old crystal flute in hand.
In Washington, D.C., the singer and rapper became the first person to play a historic crystal flute made for the 4th U.S. president James Madison in 1813. Lent to Lizzo by the Library of Congress, the flute was crafted by the Parisian watchmaker and mechanic Claude Laurent in 1813, before making its way to Madison.
On a day when the Library of Congress was closed to the public, Lizzo spent an afternoon exploring its massive flute collection and trying out several of the historical instruments.
“She is amazingly talented,” said Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford, who serves as the library’s curator for the flute collection. She said she handed Lizzo more than a half dozen different types of flutes and she could play them all. The library has the largest flute collection in the world.
Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress, sent Lizzo an invite via Twitter, writing to the artist, “The @librarycongress has the largest flute collection in the world with more than 1,800,” Hayden tweeted last week. “It incl Pres James Madison’s 1813 crystal flute. @lizzo we would love for you to come see it and even play a couple when you are in DC next week. Like your song they are ‘Good as hell’” with a winking face emoji.
Lizzo’s reply the next morning came in all-caps: “IM COMING CARLA! AND IM PLAYIN THAT CRYSTAL FLUTE!!!!!”
IM COMING CARLA! AND IM PLAYIN THAT CRYSTAL FLUTE!!!!! https://t.co/aPcIthlqeo— FOLLOW @YITTY (@lizzo) September 24, 2022
“I want everybody to make some noise for James Madison’s crystal flute, y’all! Bitch, I’m scared,” Lizzo shouted before walking the historic instrument carefully to the microphone and playing a few notes. As her very long nails make their way over the keys, she adds to the screaming crowd, “It’s crystal, it’s like playing out of a wine glass, so be patient.” After playing the smoothest note and getting the audience’s approval, Lizzo cheekily sticks her tongue out to the crowd and gets back to playing the crystal flute some more while adding some leg gyrating. After successfully not dropping the historic artifact, she raises the crystal up with a face of astonishment and happiness before returning it to the Library of Congress people. “Bitch, I just twerked and played James Madison’s crystal flute from the 1800s. We just made history tonight! Thank you to the Library of Congress for preserving our history and making history freaking cool! History is freaking cool, you guys.”
She posted the clip to Twitter, writing: “NOBODY HAS EVER HEARD THIS FAMOUS CRYSTAL FLUTE BEFORE
NOW YOU HAVE
IM THE FIRST & ONLY PERSON TO EVER PLAY THIS PRESIDENTIAL 200-YEAR-OLD CRYSTAL FLUTE— THANK YOU
NOBODY HAS EVER HEARD THIS FAMOUS CRYSTAL FLUTE BEFORE— FOLLOW @YITTY (@lizzo) September 28, 2022
NOW YOU HAVE
IM THE FIRST & ONLY PERSON TO EVER PLAY THIS PRESIDENTIAL 200-YEAR-OLD CRYSTAL FLUTE— THANK YOU @librarycongress ❤️ pic.twitter.com/VgXjpC49sO
Today, Lizzo shared another clip of her at the library testing out the flute before the show. She twerked again, this time uttering “beeyotch” in between notes. Writing, “Library of Congress: hey Lizzo this is a priceless heirloom and we’ve never heard it played before
Library of Congress: hey Lizzo this is a priceless heirloom and we’ve never heard it played before— FOLLOW @YITTY (@lizzo) September 28, 2022