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Watch now: Lizzo plays centuries-old crystal flute owned by James Madison

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Lizzo took a break from her concert in D.C. Tuesday night to play a centuries-old crystal flute owned by President James Madison on loan from the Library of Congress.

Lizzo made history on Tuesday, performing with a centuries-old flute once owned by former President James Madison.

The instrument was lent to Lizzo by the Library of Congress during the Grammy winner’s concert at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. She later said in an Instagram post that she became the "first and only person" to perform with the crystal flute, describing playing it like “playing out of a wine glass.”

“As a flute player, this is iconic and I will never be over it,” she said in the post.

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A post shared by Lizzo (@lizzobeeating)

The crystal instrument was made in 1813 for Madison’s second inauguration, according to the Library of Congress. It’s believed that the flute was saved by former first lady Dolley Madison before British troops set fire to Washington, D.C., in 1814 during the War of 1812.

The instrument is engraved with James Madison’s name, title and the year the flute was made. Since 1941, it has been in the possession of the Library of Congress.

Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, tweeted to Lizzo on Sept. 23 and invited her to play Madison’s 209-year-old flute. The library has the largest flute collection in the world.

Lizzo was spotted at the Library of Congress on Monday, and a Twitter user said he was asked if Lizzo could “break the quiet rule to play the flute.” The library later hinted she was visiting as a “flute guest.”

After performing with the instrument in front of thousands on Tuesday, she lifted the flute high in the air before giving it back to the librarian representative on stage.

“I just twerked and played James Madison’s crystal flute from the 1800s,” she told the crowd. “We just made history tonight. Thanks to the Library of Congress for preserving our history, and making history cool.”


Lizzo plays the flute at the BET Awards in Los Angeles on June 23, 2019.

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