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Lizzo's Show With James Madison Flute Hits Sour Notes With Jenna Ellis

Lizzo will play Ball Arena on Halloween this year.
Lizzo will play Ball Arena on Halloween this year. Aaron Thackeray
Musical icon and former Aurora King Soopers employee Lizzo made history last week when she played the 200-year-old crystal flute of James Madison with permission from the Library of Congress, where it has been kept since 1941.

Part of a collection of 1,700 historic flutes, this crystal instrument was saved from the White House by Dolley Madison during the burning of Washington, and the gregarious musician was invited to try it out. "The 34-year-old has been training on the flute since she was a child. As a college student, she played in the University of Houston marching band. She even performed online with the New York Philharmonic orchestra during the pandemic," wrote Library of Congress librarian April Slayton, who tagged Lizzo in a tweet about the collection, offering her a chance to try it out when she was in Washington, D.C.

"Lizzo reverently took Madison’s crystal flute in hand and blew a few notes," Slayton reported. "This isn’t easy, as the instrument is more than 200 years old. She blew a few more when she was in the Great Hall and Main Reading Room. Then, reaching for a more practical flute from the collection, she serenaded employees and a few researchers. It filled the space with music as sublime as the art and architecture."
Lizzo asked if she could play the crystal flute at her September 27 concert in D.C., and Slayton agreed. “I want everybody to make some noise for James Madison’s crystal flute, y’all!” she squealed at the show, admitting she was nervous because it's "like playing out of a wine glass." The crowd went wild as she trilled the instrument and did her signature, silly twerk. "Bitch I just twerked and played James Madison's crystal flute!" she enthused.
“Thank you to the Library of Congress for preserving our history and making history cool," she said. "History is freaking cool, you guys!”

But Lizzo's act just made some conservatives hot, including Trump lawyer and occasional Coloradan Jenna Ellis, who said that Lizzo had "desecrated" the instrument. Taking time from her various court battles regarding her defense of the former president, the onetime Weld County DA wrote: "James Madison was a slave owner, so according to the Left, shouldn’t Lizzo be cancelled now for 'making history' playing his crystal flute?"
Ellis added a video filled with a body-shaming rant by Ryan Fournier. "If you ever watch the video, do so at your own risk," she advised, "because Lizzo is basically famous for being one of the most morbidly obese people in the world who claims she's oppressed and yet, you know, she's like a multi-millionaire and very famous."

Wearing a fluffy, sickly greenish-blue sweater, Ellis added: "She gets on stage in this hideous outfit that is wildly inappropriate. And apparently, it is, like, the Smithsonian or the National Archives or something actually allowed her to be the first person in the United States history to play the crystal flute from James Madison. I mean, this is just desecration purposely of America's history. And this just shows how much the Left is laughing at American history. ...

"It's disgusting, it's depraved and I don't care what anyone says: That woman is super unhealthy, she is absolutely not a role model in any way, shape or form," the embattled lawyer facing numerous ethics charges breathlessly continued, "and she's not oppressed."

No, she's inspirational, and she's come a long way from a checkout stand.

Back in 2019, Lizzo shocked the audience at her sold-out concert at the Fillmore Auditorium, revealing that she had spent a year living in Aurora, where she worked at King Soopers.

“I’m so fucking happy to be here, Denver. You know, I used to live here for like a year," Lizzo said to a rupture of applause. "Everybody talks about Minneapolis, Houston, Detroit. But I spent a year in Aurora, working at the King Soopers. So this is kind of like a low-key homecoming show, right?"

You can catch Lizzo at another "low-key homecoming" when she plays Ball Arena on Halloween. Grab your tickets here.
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Emily Ferguson is Westword's Culture Editor, covering Denver's flourishing arts and music scene. Before landing this position, she worked as an editor at local and national political publications and held some odd jobs suited to her odd personality, including selling grilled cheese sandwiches at music festivals and performing with fire. Emily also writes on the arts for the Wall Street Journal and is an oil painter in her free time.
Contact: Emily Ferguson

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