Donald Trump may well be in the news around the world for other reasons this morning, but for once it's not because another artist has declined to perform at his inauguration.

Well, not just that, anyway.

That said, Rebecca Ferguson, who said that she had been approached to play the concert on January 20th - but only if she could sing Billie Holiday's 'Strange Fruit' - has now released a statement declining the offer, and mysteriously mentioning "many grey areas about the offer for me to perform that I'm unable to share right now".

She said:

"Due to circumstances beyond my control concerning the offer to perform at the Inauguration Concert, I was thrown into the middle of a political arena last week.

I wasn't comfortable with the song choice made on my behalf, and although I'm very blessed to have a gift that gives me amazing opportunities, as a mother and an artist, I had to defend my stance. That is why I made the decision to sing "Strange Fruit" when I was invited.

I requested to sing "Strange Fruit" as I felt it was the only song that would not compromise my artistic integrity and also as somebody who has a lot of love for all people, but has a special empathy as well for African American people and the #blacklivesmatter movement, I wanted to create a moment of pause for people to reflect.

I believe talent is a gift that should be used to heal the wounds of this world and make the world a better place to live in. As music is so powerful, I wanted to try and help educate the people watching of where division and separation can lead to if not corrected. My aim was not to cause contention."

She added: "There are many grey areas about the offer for me to perform that I'm unable to share right now, but I will not be singing. However, I genuinely wish your nation nothing but love. I would also like to pay homage to a few of your great female artists: Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and the brave and remarkable Eartha Kitt and her beautiful untold story."

Read the full statement here.


So Ferguson's out, but given the morning that's in it, comedian Frankie Boyle did have a topical suggestion for the president-elect: