Lizzo played James Madison’s 200-year-old crystal flute at her concert in Washington, DC


Once the pioneer, Lizzo crossed another first during the Washington, DC stop of her tour—on an approximately 200-year-old crystal flute that belonged to a former US president.

The singer and accomplished flautist “About Damn Time” carefully played the delicate woodwinds, which was sent as a gift to James Madison in 1813 by the French flute maker Claude Laurent. The Library of Congress kept the flute in its vault for decades before allowing Lizzo to play it on stage.

In film material shared by concertgoers, Lizzo excited and delicately played the flute under the close supervision of library staff and Capitol Police. She briefly shared the history of the flute with her audience, saying she was “the first person to ever play it”.

“B***h, I’m scared,” she said to the laughter of the audience. ‘It’s crystal. It’s like playing out of a wine glass, b***h, so be patient.”

She played a note on the crystal flute and paused excitedly after it made a sound, according to a video Lizzo shared on social media. Then she blew a few more fluttering notes, twerking gently as she played, just like her signature. After a few seconds, she held the flute high in the air, triumphant, and gently handed it back to the staff who waited a few yards away.

“B,***h, I just twerked and played James Madison’s 1800s crystal flute,” she said incredulously. “We made history tonight!”

Lizzo then thanked the library for “preserving our history” and reminded her fans that “history is insanely cool”.

Earlier this week, the Library of Congress invited Lizzo to visit her collection of 1,700 flutes, the largest in the world, per library. She first carefully played the flute there before “serenading employees and a few researchers” with a “more practical” woodwind, the library said.

Lizzo visited the Library of Congress to see and play James Madison's 200-year-old crystal flute.

Lizzo asked the library if she could play the famous flute for a few moments during her show in Washington, and the library did, although they sent Capitol Police and several other security staff members to join the flute with the flute. to guarantee safety.

The recent Emmy winner regularly plays the flute at her concerts and has experimented with other rare and valuable flutes, including an 18k gold instrument, although she has a penchant for one woodwind named Sasha Flute.

The flute is exceptionally rare: The Library of Congress has 20 Laurent-made flutes in its vault, but it’s only one of two made of crystal, according to the library. Madison’s custom flute featured a silver compound engraved with his name.

But the journey to the library’s collection was cumbersome, taking more than 100 years. The flute may have been saved by First Lady Dolley Madison during the White House fire in 1814, the library said. It came into the possession of Dolley Madison’s son from her first marriage, John Payne Todd, who bequeathed it to Dr. Cornelius Boyle of Washington.

Boyle’s descendants had the flute on display at the US National Museum, an original part of the Smithsonian Institution, in 1903 until Dayton C. Miller, another physician and woodwind enthusiast, bought it. He later donated the crystal flute, along with 1,700 instruments, to the library in 1941, where the flute remained until its debut with Lizzo.

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