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Lizzo plays 200-year-old crystal flute owned by James Madison at DC concert

Singer and flutist Lizzo treated the crowd at Capitol One Arena Tuesday night by performing with a historical 200-year-old crystal flute.

WASHINGTON — Tourists from all over the world come to Washington, D.C. for our monuments and to enjoy a bit of historical education as they vacation. Apparently, celebrities really are just like us, because famous singer Lizzo paid a special visit to the Library of Congress Monday when she was in the District for her "Lizzo: The Special Tour."

The renowned flutist gave Tuesday's audience at her Capitol One Arena performance quite the treat, when she surprised everyone by performing on a historical 200-year-old crystal flute. According to the Library of Congress, a French fluter made the ornate instrument in 1813 specifically for President James Madison in honor of his second inauguration. 

As all iconic moments go these days, it started with a simple social media exchange. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden tweeted out an invitation for Lizzo to visit the world's largest flute collection, housed at the Library of Congress in D.C.

 "@Lizzo we would love for you to come see it and even play a couple when you are in DC next week," Hayden tweeted. "Like your song they are "Good as hell [with a winking face emoji]."

The singer responded with gusto. 

After making a stop at the Library of the Congress to tour the collection and practice on a few instruments, Lizzo's dream became reality when she got the chance to play the historic flute on stage Tuesday night.

U.S. Capitol Police said in a tweet that officers helped the Library of Congress to safely escort the flute to Lizzo's concert. 

"You never know what you're going to see with the U.S. Capitol Police!" the agency tweeted Wednesday morning.


Handlers brought the flute onstage at Lizzo's concert. She carefully accepted the instrument and carried it to the standing microphone, saying "it's like playing out of a wine glass, so be patient." 

She performed on the flute, adding a few of her signature moves, of course, as the audience wildly cheered, and then Lizzo gave back the historical flute and ran back to her mic. 

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

Lizzo took the time to thank the Library of Congress for "preserving our history and making history freaking cool." 

The day before the performance, a patron tweeted that they had spotted Lizzo at the Library of Congress, and officials with the Library of Congress had personally asked if it was okay with them if Lizzo broke the library's quiet rule to play the flute. In a blog post, the LOC confirmed Lizzo had come to practice on the instrument first. 

The Library later tweeted that the flute made it back safely thanks to an escort from Capitol Police. 

"We just did a DNA test, turns out: It's 100% that [crystal flute] @lizzo played at her DC stop on the Special Tour night," the library tweeted. 

Follow Digital Journalist Chioma-Emilia Ahaghotu on Twitter and Facebook. Send tips to cahaghotu@wusa9.com.

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