Lizzo has shared a video of her performing alongside her longtime idol and flute legend James Galway, and explained how he shaped her as a musician.
The pop icon shared the footage to Instagram yesterday (May 3), and told fans how the flautist inspired her as a child. The footage follows her duet with Galway at the Met Gala earlier this week (May 1).
“Where do I begin…? When I was 11 years old and learning the flute I needed a challenge from my 5th grade level studies. So I found ‘The Man with the Golden Flute’ by James Galway and it changed the trajectory of my life,” she wrote in the caption.
“I learned most of the songs by ear because the sheet music was too difficult to read at the time,” she added. “Eventually I fell in love with virtuosic flute music and memorized ‘The Carnival of Venice’ (James’ version) when I was 14.”
She explained it was after her parents heard her playing Galway’s work that they realised how seriously she was taking her flute lessons, and paid for her to get lessons from university-level teachers. She also added that it was because of the inspiration from the flautist that she was gifted “Sasha Flute” — the main flute she still plays at her shows today.
“When my dad passed away I played ‘Amazing Grace’ into ‘Carnival of Venice at his funeral’… it was my promise to never give up,” she continued. “Now, years later I had the honor to play beside Sir James Galway, and receive lessons from him and even play his alto flute. I can confidently say I wouldn’t be the musician I am today without his influence.”
At her show in Lexington, Kentucky (April 22), the ‘About Damn Time’ singer made headlines, however, after halting the performance to help a fan create a butt tattoo. “I’m gonna put my lips on this paper, so you can have my lips on your ass,” she told the fan who asked her to help design her next tattoo. “So if anytime anyone tries to talk shit, you can tell them Lizzo says to kiss my motherfucking ass!”
Elsewhere on her tour, the pop star brought out several drag performers on stage in Knoxville, Tennessee — as a protest against the state’s ban on drag.
“Why would I not create a safe space in Tennessee where we can celebrate drag entertainers and celebrate our differences? And celebrate fat Black women,” she said to the crowd, explaining the decision. “What people are doing in Tennessee is giving hope. So thank you so much for standing up for your rights, protecting each other and holding the people accountable who should be protecting us.”