It was a $250,000 check for a 30-minute performance. Now, Chrisette Michele says that playing Donald Trump’s Inauguration destroyed her career, got her dropped by Capitol, led to a miscarriage, and plunged her into a very deep depression.
She didn’t even get to shake Donald Trump’s hand. But she did cash a check for $250,000, according to reports. Actually, that performance fee may have been as high as $750,000, depending on which rumor you believe.
Either way, the real cost of playing that 30-minute gig has been extremely steep.
Now, the singer is profusely apologizing for the decision. And she regrets the fallout and nastiness that followed her performance. She’s also been struggling with extreme and continued hatred, all of which has pushed her to have suicidal thoughts.
Here’s what Michele told Power 105.1’s ‘The Breakfast Club’ early this morning.
DJ Envy (co-host): Do you regret even playing for the Inauguration?
Chrisette Michele: I regret everything that happened. That was a bad choice.
Charlemagne the God (co-host): We told you not to do it, Chrisette.
Michele: Yeah, I was going to say. I know you guys were like — well, that was after that fact — but I know you guys were like, ‘Chrisette that’s crazy’. But a lot of times when you have a message of hope, a lot of times when you have a message of healing, a lot of times you think, ‘man, if I just have a message of healing, you think — maybe it’s a self-righteous thing — ‘man if I just tell people things are going to be okay, they’ll hear me’.”
But none of that is going to get her major label deal back.
The singer revealed that she is no longer signed to Capitol Records, a division of Universal Music Group. “If social media wanted to pull me down, I guess they succeeded as it pertains to Capitol & Caroline records,” Michele wrote. “I complete an entire album and my label decides to walk away from me. Capitol records.”
Michele says her career quickly plunged after the performance. Fans quickly alienated the singer, especially after learning about a $250,000 payday. “I was quiet for a few days… I go into the studio and literally poured out my heart and soul and the label decides to walk away from me? It’s one thing to be a strong black woman, it’s another thing to be a strong black woman who has to fight against the worst odds.
“I went from someone being revered and loved to facing putting out an album in the worst climate of my musical career.”
Other artists backed out of Trump Inauguration performances, fearing exactly this fallout. That includes Andrea Bocelli, who apparently canceled the Trump gig after a facing a ferocious backlash from fans. Others canceling included Jennifer Holliday, who faced the possibility of getting blacklisted by the gay community.
Even a Bruce Springsteen cover band canceled amidst an avalanche of protest.
Others flat-out turned down invitations, most notably Elton John, David Foster, and Charlotte Church. The Rolling Stones were also apparently invited, while 50 Cent was offered $500,000 to endorse the Trump campaign. All declined.
The backlash against Michele was fast and furious — starting with Spike Lee.
The director quickly canceled Chrisette Michele from an upcoming series, sparking an ugly exchange between the pair. But instead of fans cheering Michele on, they largely abandoned her. The deal was off, alongside numerous other gigs and opportunities.
The crumbling career subsequently plunged Michele into a deep depression. The singer flatly admitted that she considered suicide, and lost her baby because of the fallout. “So people ask me how I’m so positive after all I’ve been through. When you’re laying in bed naked, next to a bottle of Bacardi and Xanax. When you wear pajamas morning and night,” Michele posted on Instagram.
“When you don’t pick up the phone for weeks, months. When you’re afraid to look at social media.”
“A miscarriage? Me?”
Accordingly, it’s unclear if Chrisette Michele was drinking or taking drugs during the pregnancy. “Something came out of me. It was my child,” Michele explained. “The one my love and I worked so hard on. I never knew I could allow myself to be so broken that my physical body would break down.
“A miscarriage? Me? This experience of a broken nation showed itself in my own physical body. That was when I knew I had to pull it together. Heal, forgive. Just because I had a negative experience didn’t mean I had to become negative and broken.”