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Chappell Roan Shares Why She Turned Down White House Pride Performance

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Chappell Roan.
Marleen Moise/Getty Images

Chappell Roan shared her reasoning for turning down the chance to perform at the White House’s 2024 Pride event.

“In response to the White House who asked me to perform for Pride,” Roan, 26, said on Sunday, June 9, to the crowd of the Governors Ball music festival in New York City, which was sponsored by Aperol. “We want liberty, justice and freedom for all. When you do that, that’s when I’ll come.”

After the serious moment, Roan then performed her song “My Kink Is Karma” which she dedicated to the White House. Fans in the audience waved LGBTQIA+ pride flags, handkerchiefs or other pink merch made for Roan, and held up handmade signs or Aperol Spritzes they purchased in the nearby VIP Aperol Piazza.

The singer initially took the stage coming out of a “Big Apple” with a giant bite in it. She was dressed up as the Statue of Liberty with green body paint, a latex top, a slit chap skirt and a sparkly silver crown. Later in the show, she gave insight into the symbolism of her look.

“I am in drag as the biggest queen of all, but in case you have forgotten what’s etched on my pretty little toes. ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,’” she told the audience, quoting the poem written on the plaque of the iconic landmark. “That means freedom and trans rights. That means freedom and women’s rights. And it especially means freedom for all people and the oppressed. It especially means freedom for all oppressed people in occupied territories.”

Following the serious moment, Roan (real name Kayleigh Rose Amstutz) segued into playing her song “Hot to Go!”

Us Weekly has reached out to the White House for comment.

Chappell Roan Explains Why She Declined Invite to Perform at White House Pride

Chappell Roan.
Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images

While Roan’s set had serious undertones, there were plenty of lighthearted moments and several fashion changes. In addition to dressing up as the Statue of Liberty, Roan also rocked a yellow ensemble that mimicked a New York City taxi. After the show, Roan took to social media to poke fun at herself for the wardrobe mishaps on stage.

“My wig almost came off and I had 20 wardrobe malfunctions,” she said in a Sunday video shared via the Gov Ball’s official TikTok account. “But it doesn’t matter because it f—king rocked! I had so much fun.”

Roan has taken the music industry by storm as a breakout artist. Last year, she opened for Olivia Rodrigo on her Guts tour and this year she rocked the Coachella stage. Her single “Good Luck, Babe!” which dropped in April, skyrocketed on the charts and was certified gold. In 2023, Roan opened up about her onstage persona.

“I think Chappell’s a drag-queen version of me because it’s very larger-than-life,” she said in an interview with Vanity Fair at the time. “Kind of tacky, not afraid to say really lewd things. The songs are kind of the fairytale version of what happened in real life. A lot of the songs are just enhanced versions of what happened or maybe they never happened at all.”

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