Lizzo plays 200-year-old crystal flute owned by former US president and fans are in awe

Lizzo wears a sparkly outfit as she plays a crystal flute during a live concert

Lizzo has made history by playing a 200-year-old crystal flute that once belonged to US president James Madison at a concert – and fans were absolutely amazed at the symbolic performance.

The superstar singer and classically trained flautist played the one-of-a-kind flute during the Washington DC leg of her The Special Tour. The musical instrument was made for Madison, the fourth president of the USA, in 1813.

“I’m scared,” Lizzo admitted, as she took the sparkling flute from Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford, a curator at the Library of Congress.

“It’s crystal,” she added. “It’s like playing out of a wine glass.”

Lizzo played a few notes, making sure to twerk a little, as thousands of excited fans cheered. She then excitedly carried the flute over her head before handing it back to the Library of Congress official. 

“B***h, I just twerked and played James Madison’s crystal flute from the 1800s,” she declared in amazement. “We just made history tonight!”

Lizzo tweeted that nobody has “ever heard this famous crystal flute” being played before as she is the “first and only person to ever play this presidential 200-year-old crystal flute”.

It was truly a symbolic moment as Lizzo – a Grammy-winning Black singer, rapper and songwriter – played a rare instrument that once belonged to a president whose Virginia plantation was built by enslaved Black people. 

Madison brought enslaved people to the White House during his presidency, which ran from 1809 to 1817.

Fans were absolutely enthralled by Lizzo’s symbolic and history-making performance.


The crystal flute was made for Madison’s second inauguration by Parisian craftsman Claude Laurent. The flute’s silver joint is engraved with the president’s name, title and the year 1813. 

Lizzo regularly plays the flute during her concerts, brought one along to this year’s Met Gala and even dedicated an entire sketch to playing the flute (and twerking) when she hosted Saturday Night Live

Carla Hayden, the librarian of Congress, previously put out a tweet inviting Lizzo to see the library’s extensive flute collection and “even play a couple” when she stopped by the US capital city. 

Lizzo happily replied that she planned to play “that crystal flute” during her trip. 

The “About Damn Time” singer played the crystal flute when she was in the Great Hall and Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress before it was brought to her DC concert.

The library said Lizzo “filled the space with music as sublime as the art and architecture”.