The Emmy and three-time Grammy winner thanked the Library of Congress for “preserving our history and making history freaking cool” after playing the heirloom.

WASHINGTON — Music superstar Lizzo is no stranger to making headlines and making history. So it’s no surprise that she’s added another milestone during her 2022 “Special” tour.

Tuesday night in Washington, D.C., the three-time Grammy and Emmy winner paused her show to play a 200-year-old crystal flute owned by the Library of Congress and made for President James Madison.

Lizzo posted video of the moment on Instagram, writing, “YALL.. THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS LET ME PLAY THEIR HISTORIC 200 YEAR OLD CRYSTAL FLUTE ON STAGE TONIGHT— NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE… NOW YOU DO.”

She shared a second clip of the now-viral moment, adding “YEAH IM DOUBLE POSTING BUT IM THE FIRST & ONLY PERSON TO PLAY THIS PRESIDENTIAL CRYSTAL FLUTE ITS LITERALLY AN HEIRLOOM— LIKE… AS A FLUTE PLAYER THIS IS ICONIC AND I WILL NEVER BE OVER IT.”

After playing a few notes on the flute, which was made in 1813 for President James Madison, Lizzo returned the heirloom to a Library of Congress representative before heading back to the mic.

Visibly elated, Lizzo exclaimed, “We just made history tonight! Thank you to the Library of Congress for preserving our history and making history freaking cool. History is freaking cool you guys.”

The Library of Congress said on Twitter later Tuesday night that the flute was “safe and sound” after an escort back home from Capitol Police. 

According to the Library of Congress, the flute was made for Madison by Claude Laurent of Paris, one of 20 Laurent glass flutes in the Library’s Dayton C. Miller Collection

Madison’s flute was made specifically for him in honor of his second inauguration, and its silver joint is engraved with Madison’s name, title and the year the flute was made.

So how did this happen? 

It takes a lot of planning to get a centuries-old instrument into an arena full of fans — and at least some of the planning was done via social media. 

“The @librarycongress has the largest flute collection in the world with more than 1,800. It (includes) Pres James Madison’s 1813 crystal flute. @lizzo we would love for you to come see it and even play a couple when you are in DC next week,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden tweeted Friday. 

Lizzo’s response? “IM COMING CARLA! AND IM PLAYIN THAT CRYSTAL FLUTE!!!!!”

The Library explained on its website that Lizzo came over Monday to practice the flute — after curators determined that it could be played without damage. It said while security details are kept under wraps, the flute was transported to the concert in a custom protective container under constant guard.

While the process was complicated, the Library said it was a “perfect moment” to highlight America’s cultural heritage for a new generation.

“The Library’s vision is that all Americans are connected to our holdings. We want people to see them,” its website explained.





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