- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jennifer Holliday of “Dreamgirls” fame told the cast of “The View” on Tuesday that death threats forced her to cancel a performance during President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and “The View” co-hosts mostly sat in shocked silence on as Ms. Holliday recounted the backlash she received after an invitation to sing at the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration.” The Broadway star said that her love of country initially prompted her to accept the gig.

“I’m an artist and I love America,” the singer said when asked why should would consider singing at Mr. Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. “It just didn’t dawn on me. I performed for four other presidents. I started with Ronald Reagan, daddy Bush, Bush, the Clinton’s during their eight-year time. […] It didn’t dawn on me that this was like a bad thing and we weren’t doing ‘America’ right now.”

Ms. Behar then asked what the singer told the event’s organizers during their last conversation.

“I didn’t call them up,” Ms. Holliday said, the Daily Caller reported. “I just sent an email and said it had gotten out of hand. I was receiving death threats at this point. I was receiving death threats from back people, the N-word from black people. They were saying they were going to kill me.”

The comedian then asked how Ms. Holliday knew the race of her harassers.

“I looked. I read everything. […] I would push the button to see who was calling me because your face is there. You can look at their thing or whatever. I’m going, ‘Oh my God, there are black people calling me this!’ There were saying I should kill myself or, you know, someone should kill me — all over singing a song! I said, ‘I just wanted to sing!’”

A representative for the singer told the entertainment website TMZ on Monday that she also “didn’t want to put her family at risk” or “offend the LGBT community, which was especially upset.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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