WATCH: Lizzo Credits Her Career to James Galway After Playing the Flute Together

Lizzo played the flute with legendary instrumentalist James Galway, and it was “Good as Hell.”

Videos by American Songwriter

The hitmaker turned to social media Wednesday (May 3) night to share a glimpse of the two performing the flute together in a recording studio. The memorable moment comes on the heels of her surprise performance at the 2023 Met Gala at New York’s Metropolitan Museum, where she brought her famed flute named Sasha.

The powerhouse delivered instrumental covers of her chart-topping hits “Truth Hurts,” “Cuz I Love You,” “Juice,” and more. Towards the end of the show, Galway joined Lizzo for a mesmerizing duet of “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

Lizzo credits her music career to the Irish flutist in a lengthy tribute.

“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,” wrote Lizzo. “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 continued to reflect on her childhood and how her late father heavily supported her passion. Lizzo’s father died in 2009 from congestive heart failure.

“My father heard that and took my flute very seriously; he bought me lessons from university-level teachers, and my parents eventually got me Sasha Flute to keep up,” she explained. “When my dad passed away, I played Amazing Grace into Carnival of Venice at his funeral…it was my promise to never give up.”

The clip displays Lizzo learning from the man who she has admired for decades. After delivering an ear-grabbing stanza from an unidentified song—she asked her team if they “got it all” on video because she wanted to “show her mom.” During the lesson, you can see Galway encouraging Lizzo to push her boundaries and experiment with specific notes.

“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,” Lizzo declared. “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 concluded.

Following the star-studded affair and private session, the Belfast-born artist praised the platinum-selling artist.

“It was amazing—she is a very good player,” Galway told BBC.

Lizzo is currently touring worldwide. She is slated to hit massive markets like Chicago, New York, Sydney, Australia, and more. The run is expected to end in Minamiuonuma, Japan, on July 30.

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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