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Lizzo plays James Madison's 200-year-old crystal flute at DC concert

Lizzo makes history, plays James Madison's 200-year-old crystal flute
Lizzo makes history, plays James Madison's 200-year-old crystal flute 01:01

WASHINGTON -- Fans probably weren't expecting pop-star Lizzo to make history at a Washington D.C. concert on Tuesday night. But she did - becoming the first person to play a 200-year-old crystal flute that was once owned by President James Madison.

"I want everybody to make some noise for James Madison's crystal flute, y'all!" Lizzo said to a crowd of screaming fans.

The Grammy award-winner is known for breaking out her flute at concerts. She's played the instrument since she was a child and studied classical flute in college.

When Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden learned that Lizzo was coming to Washington, she reached out on Twitter, touting the fact that the library has the largest flute collection in the world, including Madison's crystal flute. 

Lizzo stopped by the library on Monday, where Hayden showed her around the collection, which comprises of 1,700 flutes, and eventually asked if she would like to play the crystal flute. 

The flute itself, according to the library, was made by French craftsman Claude Laurent, who patented the leaded glass flute during a time when most of them were made out of wood or ivory. He engraved one with Madison's name and sent it to him as a gift for his second inauguration. It was saved from the White House by Dolley Madison during the Burning of Washington in 1814.

Lizzo asked if she would be able to play it at her concert the next day, the library agreed. When she took the stage on Tuesday, Lizzo was surrounded by the library's preservation and security teams - which is typical procedure when a valuable artifact leaves the museum.

"It's crystal, it's like playing out of a wine glass b****, so be patient," Lizzo said to the audience.

She played one long note before playing a trill while twerking.

"B****, I just twerked and played James Madison's crystal flute from the 1800s," she said to the crowd. "We just made history tonight!"

The library later tweeted that the flute made it back safely into the collection.

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