Was Chrisette Michele Ever Paid for Singing at Trump’s Inauguration?

Chrisette Michele was a force in the music industry beginning in 2007 when her vocals began appearing on various rap albums from artists like Nas and Jay-Z. The Grammy-nominated singer saw major success for her own discography and was rising when she decided to accept an invitation to sing at Trump’s inauguration in 2017.

The choice effectively ended her career as she knew it. But was the singer ever even paid for performing at the controversial event?

Chrisette Michele
Chrisette Michele | Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Chrisette Michele’s career ended after she sang at Trump’s inauguration

When Michele decided to sing at Trump’s inauguration, she knew that she was going to get some pushback. What she did not expect was for her flourishing career to come to a screeching halt. Spike Lee pulled her song, “Black Girl Magic” from his then-premiering Netflix show, She’s Gotta Have It.

Radio stations pulled her songs off the rotation, her shows went unsold and she went through a great deal in her personal life as well. The Epiphany singer received terrifying death threats, had a miscarriage, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, lost a record deal, and so much more.

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Chrisette Michele deeply regrets singing at Trump’s inauguration

When Michele announced that she had been asked to sing at Trump’s inauguration in 2017 and that she was deeply considering it, fans and her peers begged her to reconsider. The Roots’ Questlove even tweeted that he would pay Michele not to perform if she was concerned about missing out on a hefty paycheck. In the end, the I Am singer proceeded with her performance, insisting that she wanted to build a bridge between the volatile politician, his followers, and the majority of the Black community who opposed him.

As expected, the backlash was swift and long-lasting. “They didn’t feel represented at that moment. They felt misrepresented,” Michele told The Washington Post about her fans’ reactions. “They felt further misunderstood, and they felt the person they depended on to speak on their behalf just betrayed them.”

Now, four years later, Michele is trying to move forward. “While I felt like people took so much away from me in those two years, I’m more grateful for finally having time to look at the last 12, and I think that is the bright side. … I want people to know that it’s okay to expect more from me.”

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Chrisette Michele was paid $75,000 to sing at Trump’s inauguration

In the end, Michele was paid $75,000, a hefty sum for a five-minute performance. She never got to speak to Trump or even shake his hand, and now her career is forever linked to his tattered legacy.

We doubt the former R&B Divas: Los Angeles alum feels like the entire ordeal was worth it, especially considering what has transpired over the past several years amid the Trump administration, his two impeachments, racial tension, the Capitol riots, and so much more.