If Lizzo’s shining, even James Madison’s crystal flute is gonna shine.
When the singer's "The Special Tour" stopped at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, she accepted an invitation from the Library of Congress to play a 200-year-old flute that was once given to former President Madison. The flute may have been among a few things first lady Dolly Madison saved after British troops set fire to the White House in 1814.
Lizzo said she was the first person to ever play the instrument.
“It’s crystal! It’s like playing out of a wine glass,” she told her audience to cheers and laughs.
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She played a few notes, making it seem like she’d been practicing on it for years — she is a classically trained flutist, after all.
“Thank you to the Library of Congress for preserving our history,” Lizzo said.
It all started with a tweet from Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, who teased Lizzo, a classically trained flautist, about the Library's "largest flute collection in the world."
On Monday, Lizzo was given a tour of the collection, which included the crystal flute.
"It's not clear if Madison did much with the flute other than admire it, but it became a family heirloom and an artifact of the era," the Library said.
Before Lizzo played the instrument, the Library’s curators in the music division made sure it could be played safely without causing any damage.
"This sort of thing is not as unusual as it might sound. Many of the Library’s priceless instruments are played every now and again," the Library said.
To be transported to the concert, the Library packed the flute in a customized protective container and had a curator and security officer accompany it to Capital One Arena.
U.S. Capitol Police safely returned the flute, according to the Library of Congress.