Umm What Did You Expect? Organization Angry Ledisi Pulls Out Of Performance To Sing At Inauguration

January 17, 2013  |  

I’m gonna say it right here and now, if President Obama calls me for anything, I’m dropping everything I have going on and heading straight to DC on the next thing running. I don’t know many people who wouldn’t do the same, including singer Ledisi, but it’s that move that has the Black Academy Of Arts And Letters giving the soulful lady the side-eye.

This morning we received an email from the organization with the subject: “Ledisi Cancels The Emmy Award Winning Black Academy of Arts and Letters Concert to Sing at the Inauguration Last Minute.” Inside, the press release begins by announcing that Erykah Badu will perform at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) 30th Annual Black Music And The Civil Rights Movement Concert on Sunday, January 20 in Dallas, and points out:

“Ms. Badu, who headlined the concert in 1998, replaces Ledisi, who cancelled early Monday (January 14) morning citing a last minute request by President Barack Obama to perform in Washington, DC as part of the inauguration ceremonies.”

Then, TBAAL Founder and President Curtis King lowkey goes in on Ledisi, saying:

“We were very surprised and disappointed by Ledisi’s decision to cancel literally six days before the concert, especially after accepting the deposit and fully committing to be part of this thirty-year tradition honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plans were solidified over five months ago. Countless hours of rehearsal have been spent by our 200 plus choir members, administrative staff, musicians, conductors and dancers. First-class travel arrangements were made. Radio, television, print advertising and promotional collateral has been running and being distributed for months.”

I get it Curtis; however, I bet if Barack Obama called him to come wipe the sweat off his brow during the inauguration, he would peace out on the TBAAL concert too and be on the first flight out to Washington. I could see if Ledisi didn’t have a legitimate reason for cancelling, or even if the organization didn’t find another performer — which by the way, Erykah Badu may be a bigger draw — but c’mon if the commander-in-chief of our nation calls you to do something, you’re going to do it. Not to mention, this is an amazing opportunity for Ledisi just as a performer. I’m sure she can make it up to TBAAL in some way. Return that deposit girl, and have a good time with the leader of our nation!

Do you think Ledisi was wrong to pull out of her prior engagement or would you have done the same?

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  • Angela Harvey-Bowen

    If anybody understood her last minute itinerary change, it should have been TBAAL…

  • JonJon

    Okay…. first things first. Think people – this is the Inauguration of the POTUS. These decisions are not made last minute.Ledisi was most likely booked at least a month ago if not more to perform at the inaugural ceremonies. True, she might have been contacted after she agreed and signed with TBAAL. However, I’m sure her management gave TBAAL notice long before a few days prior to the concert. TBAAL probably sat on this knowledge until they could find a suitable replacement.It happens all the time. It’s a booking nightmare but many institutions face issues like this from time to time. But calling Ledisi out like that is equally unprofessional, especially if this is not such a shock in the first place.

  • mkay

    The writer puts Obama on a dangerously high pedestal. He is still a human being, not God so, please stop. Unless it’s a medical emergency, it is kind of unprofessional to cancel last minute. This organisation will definitely never work with her again, so hopefully performing at this inauguration gives her bookings the extra boost she’s anticipating. She’s certainly (I hope) not doing it just for Obama – she wants the added exposure from this huge event. Good luck to her and good on Erica for stepping in.

    • JonJon

      Badu cancelled on TBAAL last miinute, twice before and they’re working with her again. So I don’t think Ledisi should be worried.

  • SweetP

    Ok, some people care more about paying their bills than prestige. We don’t know her problems, so we should not judge.

  • Joymayharris

    Nope, not wrong. Return the deposit and hop that plane to D.C. Those folks saying they wouldn’t accept are LYING.

  • clove8canela

    Hell naw! That email would have been sent before our phone call was over, their check would be in the mail, and I would just have to deal with the consequences later.

  • Tasha

    I’m a young person, and its great we have an African American president.. But one thing I can say about my generation is that we are ABOUT OUR MONEY AND our REPRESENTATION. The inauguration is Monday and the program is set for Sunday… A good manager is a low key a hustler in the industry… With that being said a hustler mentality would’ve made sure she was at both programs and made her bread as well. #drops the mic JUST SAYING!!

  • Oliver

    I’m trying to figure out why anything black and high profile is scheduling anything during the inauguration!!! They need to stand by our President too, seeing that he’s a man of color!!!!

  • Lee

    Poor, Poor and Careless Management. Run for hills Ledisi get new management before your career end before it starts. Actually, I would rather see Ms Badu!!!!!!!

  • yes…

  • If the POTUS called me, I would return the deposit and catch the next thing smok’n, you hear me…the very next thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Janice

    All I have to say is where is her integrity and character? She signed an agreement, took a Black institution’s money and left them hanging at the last minute. Kudos to Erykah Badu! She’s certainly a bigger draw. Look out Ledisi, who’s the next person you’re going to step on and dump to get to the President?

  • umm. they will be ok because i would have cancelled as well to sing for the President of the United States!!

  • President Barack Obama is biracial! 1/17/2013 1:35 PM
    1. Of, for, or consisting of members of two races.2. Having parents of two different races.


      Ok, how about African-American President and leave it at that!

    • You are one silly goose. You must have biracial children or married to a nonblack man. Don’t worry. No one will mistake your offspring for one us Black folk. Lol. Why do some of you even bother to touch our lives?

    • clove8canela

      Tell the birthers and all the people were dropping n-bombs left and right after his reelection that.

  • imadime

    the fact that they headlined the email and press release by attempting to call out ledisi for canceling, instead of simply announcing that erykah badu would be headlining, in addition to the fact that they spent any time at all disparaging ledisi in PRESS RELEASE shows them as tacky and classless.

  • Wow

    TBAAL please! If the Prez called me to be the shoulder duster (cueing Jay Z “dirt off your shoulder”) to brush off all that hate I’m there no questions asked Mr. President.

  • Gigi

    If my President called just to have me stand in the background while he takes the oath and I didn’t have anywhere to sleep or eat or a plane ticket, I’d still drop what I’m doing and drive those 12+ hours to DC. And to correct another commenter, yes, yes Barack Obama is above a whole continent full of anybodies.

  • E.Reese

    Brande, you summed it up perfectly. Deuces!

  • nadia

    She made an agreement to perform this was unprofessional. Yes he is the President but Ledisi needed to honor her prior engagement. He is a human being the President is his job he is not above anybody. She is wrong.

    • Its the POTUS

      Girl stop playin. lol

    • how is he not above anyone. performing at any inaugural is a once in a lifetime opportunity

  • I would have done the same in a heartbeat. This is our POTUS, a part of history.

  • kierah

    It ain’t like she canceled to sing Happy Birthday at the damn Cracker Barrel! Sheesh, she cancelled for the Head Honcho of these here United States. This is MLK’s dream come true and these people wasted ink throwing shade at this young lady for being a part of history.
    This is why we can’t rise. Just be happy for Ledisi and glad that you got a more than capable replacement in Miss Badu.

  • Candacey Doris

    I don’t think they should be shocked. They should understand. How many years will it be until this happens again? Ledisi is putting her name down in history. I bet MLK would understand.

  • Hey folks come on this isn’t Rocket Science! Get real here, who wouldn’t accept this opportunity, and Erykah Badu is the woman! Everybody wins.

  • Reese

    This woman was offered the opportunity of a lifetime. I know the Academy is upset but they should understand.

  • Niecy Anon

    heck no! I would have done the same thing without a second thought.
    I understand them being upset by the inconvenience BUT it did work out AND she only canceled for the first black president. I think that instead of verbally putting her down they should have congratulated her on the opportunity and welcomed Erykah Badu, thanking her for being able to commit at such short notice.

  • Pingback: Funny Sass: Obama is calling! | AllThingsSass()

  • realadulttalk

    Are they serious??? Who in their right mind wouldn’t choose the Inauguration???

  • Guest360

    I get the disappointment. I really do. But come on!! The woman was offered an opportunity to sing at the second inauguration of our FIRST black president. I think MLK would be perfectly happy and fine with her taking herself out of a concert dedicated to him in order to participate in such a historical moment. In the grand scheme of things, some things are more important and shame on them to try to make her feel bad about a decision like this.

  • C’mon son

    I can understand their upset and disappointment with the heavy preparation versus short notice of Ledisi pulling out, but the fact that we have a President of color celebrating an inauguration for his *second* term is a milestone that will go down in black history. Who would turn the opportunity to be a part of that (requested by the President himself, no less) down?

    • pretty1908

      right ! if the president called me to pour his tea , im taking off work buh bye

    • Nisa

      This is his last inauguration so what else what she was supposed to do? Not like she could do it next time! I love Ledisi and I’m glad that he got a real singer this year.