She recounts the moment to Playbill.
Well, it's fascinating that the whole experience, to me, was an If/Then moment. The day prior, on Wednesday, Idina Menzel said to me, "I'm feeling a little sick." She got through the matinee, and during the evening performance she really was struggling at the top of the first act. Before the Act I finale, we were in the wing, and she said, "I don't think I can do the second act."
I said, "Good, you need to take care of yourself," and she said, "But I'm singing at the 9/11 Memorial Museum tomorrow… Can you do it?" As she was opening the curtain to go on stage, I said, "Yes."
Idina sends me a text: "They want you to do it. It's 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' with a string quartet. And, it's a different arrangement, so you've really got to listen and learn."
From 11 PM-2 AM, I am thinking about clothing, makeup, hair and learning the song — that's all I'm doing. I go to sleep for three hours because I have to be down there at 7 AM. Since it's the 9/11 Museum, I'm going to take my daughters. We've not seen it yet, and it would be a great opportunity for us — still not tapping into the fact of what the emotion is for me.
We are in the car. We're on our way down. I get a call: "LaChanze, for reasons we cannot disclose, you will not be singing 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.' Can you sing 'Amazing Grace'? … You're going to have to sing it a cappella." This happens on the East River Drive a half-hour before I get there. My manager is freaking out, but I've got to tell you something, I was not stirred by it. It didn't upset me. Something about it felt so right.
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