“I can confidently say I wouldn’t be the musician I am today without his influence,” wrote the Special musician
Lizzo shared a video on Wednesday with her longtime idol and flute legend James Galway, who she played a duet with at the Met Gala earlier this week.
“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,” the Special singer wrote in her post. “I learned most of the songs by ear because the sheet music was too difficult to read at the time but eventually I fell in love with virtuosic flute music and memorized The Carnival of Venice (James Version) when I was 14.” She also shared that once her father heard her play Galway’s version, he began to take her flute training seriously, and bought her lessons from university level teachers. Eventually, Lizzo’s parents got her “Sasha Flute,” her nickname for the main flute she plays at shows today.
Lizzo added that after her father died, she performed “Amazing Grace” into Galway’s rendition of “The Carnival of Venice” at his funeral. “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. Thank you for everything this week @sirjamesgalway ! You are truly the King of Flutes and I can’t wait to play with you again,” she added.
Last month, the singer-songwriter defied Tennessee’s anti-drag law, which bans “adult cabaret entertainment” in public spaces, and invited drag performers, including RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni, onstage at her Knoxville show.
“Why would I not come to the people who need to hear this message the most, the people who need to feel this release the most?” said Lizzo during her set. “Why would I not create a safe space in Tennessee where we can celebrate drag entertainers and celebrate our differences?”