News & Politics

Lizzo Plays Crystal Flute From Library of Congress at DC Show

"I just twerked and played James Madison's crystal flute from the 1800s!"

Can we expect James Madison on the next Lizzo track? Probably not, but the singer did borrow the Founding Father’s 200-year-old flute for a performance at the Capital One Arena on Tuesday. The instrument was on loan from the Library of Congress, after Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden invited the flautist to explore the institution’s collection of 1,800 flutes.

Dressed in a glittering costume to match the woodwind, Lizzo stepped to the mic and performed a note, comparing the experience to “playing out of a wine glass.” She’s the first person to play the instrument and, to quote the flautist’s discography, “It’s about damn time!”

“Bitch, I just twerked and played James Madison’s crystal flute from the 1800s!” Lizzo said. “We just made history tonight! Thank you to Library of Congress for preserving our history and making history freaking cool.”

According to Fox5 DC’s Sierra Fox, Capitol Police and Secret Service were also on stage to hand off the artifact. The Library of Congress confirms the flute returned to its home, where we imagine the other historic instruments felt a little bit starstruck.

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.