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Lizzo Played A 200-Year-Old Presidential Crystal Flute For The First Time

Lizzo playing James Madison crystal flute

Lizzo played former President James Madison’s crystal flute at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. during her North American tour. 

How Did Lizzo Get The Opportunity To Play The Flute?

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden took to Twitter to offer Lizzo an invite to tour the Library of Congress’ rare flute collection. (Fun Fact: Lizzo is a classically trained flutist). And Lizzo took her up on the offer.

Before her D.C. show, she privately toured the Library of Congress’ collection of flutes and even played some of them.


This visit led to Lizzo playing former U.S. President James Madison’s crystal flute on stage at the Capital One Arena. 

What Is The Significance of James Madison Flute?

Who Was James Madison?

James Madison Jr. was a Founding Father. He served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. Madison is also referred to as the “Father of the Constitution” for his role in drafting and promoting the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.

The Story Behind James Madison Flute

French craftsman Claude Laurent of Paris sent President Madison the pure crystal flute with an engraved silver joint in honor of his second inauguration. 


This antique flute is believed to be rescued by Former First Lady Dolley Madison when British soldiers set the White House on fire during the War of 1812. The War of 1812 was a war between the United States and Great Britain. The cause of the war is attributed to the following factors: Britain’s attempt to restrict U.S. trade, the Royal Navy’s impressment of American seamen, and America’s desire to expand its territory. The United States suffered many defeats over the course of the War of 1812, including the capture and burning of the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., in August of 1814.

If you want more historical facts about James Madison’s flute, click here for the Library of Congress blog post.

Check out: The History Behind D.C. Emancipation Day


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