Beyoncé to Remove 'Ableist' Song Lyric from Her New Album Renaissance Following Backlash

·3 min read

Beyoncé is making a change.

The singer, 40, will alter a lyric from a song on her new album Renaissance after it was called "ableist," PEOPLE can confirm.

In a statement, a representative for Beyoncé confirms the lyric in her song "Heated," where she uses the derogatory word "sp-z," will be changed.

"The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced," the statement says.

Beyoncé's use of the word was criticized by disability activists online, including advocate Hannah Diveney, who said the use of the word is "ableist" in an opinion piece in The Guardian, as well as disability charity Sense, which noted on social media that it was "disappointing" to see the star use the word in the first place.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Beyonce Reveals the Cover Art to Seventh Studio Album Renaissance
Beyonce Reveals the Cover Art to Seventh Studio Album Renaissance

Beyoncé/Instagram Renaissance Cover Art

RELATED: Beyoncé Dedicates Renaissance Drop to Her Late Gay Uncle Johnny: 'To All of the Fallen Angels'

Beyoncé's move to remove the lyric from her song comes about after Lizzo removed the same word from the single "GRRRLS" off of her fourth studio album Special in June.

For more on Beyoncé, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

"It's been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song 'GRRRLS.' Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language," she wrote in a statement at the time. "As a fat Black woman in America, I've had many hurtful words used against me so I overstand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally)."

"I'm proud to say there's a new version of GRRRLS with a lyric change. This is the result of me listening and taking action. As an influential artist I'm dedicated to being part of the change I've been waiting to see in the world," Lizzo, 34, concluded.

"GRRRLS" originally featured the lyrics: "Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag / Do you see this s—? I'm a sp-z."

Beyoncé Releases Long-Awaited Seventh Studio Album Renaissance, Confirms LP Is a 3-Part Project
Beyoncé Releases Long-Awaited Seventh Studio Album Renaissance, Confirms LP Is a 3-Part Project

Mason Poole Beyoncé

Beyoncé officially released her seventh studio album Renaissance as the clock struck midnight early Friday morning.

Alongside "Heated," the dance-heavy LP features 15 other tracks, including previously released lead single "Break My Soul," as well as "I'm That Girl," "Cozy," "Alien Superstar," "Cuff It," "Energy" featuring BEAM, "Church Girl," "Plastic Off the Sofa," "Virgo's Groove," "Move" featuring Grace Jones and Tems, "Thique," "All Up in Your Mind," "America Has a Problem," "Pure/Honey" and "Summer Renaissance."

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

In a message shared ahead of Renaissance's release, Beyoncé revealed the album will be part of a "three-act project."

She wrote: "This three-act project was recorded over three years during the pandemic. A time to be still, but also a time I found to be the most creative. Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world."

Renaissance is currently available to purchase and stream.