Lizzo Responds To Critics Claiming She Makes “Music For White People”
Lizzo continued to combat criticism this week as she responded to those who believe she makes “music for white people.”
In an interview with Vanity Fair, the 34-year-old debunked claims of catering to a Caucasian audience as she called it the “biggest criticism” that she’s received of her career. The “Rumors” singer then deemed the topic of discussion as a “critical conversation” for Black music artists.
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“When Black people see a lot of white people in the audience, they think, ‘Well this isn’t for me, this is for them,’” she expressed to the outlet in her November cover story.
She added, “The thing is, when a Black artist reaches a certain level of popularity, it’s going to be a predominantly White crowd. I was so startled when I watched [YouTube clips of gospel great] Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who was an innovator of rock and roll. She was like ‘I’m going to take gospel and shred guitar,’ and when they turned the camera around, it was a completely white audience.”
The classically trained flutist then mentioned other singers who attract predominately White crowds. The Texas-native names Beyoncé, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, and Whitney Houston before including that rappers also have shows that are overwhelming white.
“I am not making music for white people,” she clarified. “I am a Black woman, I am making music from my Black experience, for me to heal myself [from] the experience we call life. If I can help other people, hell yeah because we are the most marginalized and neglected people in this country. We need self-love and self-love anthems more than anybody.”
She continued, “So am I making music for that girl right there who looks like me, who grew up in a city where she was under-appreciated and picked on and made to feel ‘unbeautiful?’ Yes. It blows my mind when people say I’m not making music from a Black perspective—how could I not do that as a Black artist?”
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Lizzo also shared a story of her time in high-school when she felt “different” than others and was bullied for her secret love for Rock music, which made her Black peers tease her with the nickname “White girl.”
As a Grammy award-winning superstar, Lizzo said that connecting with Black women in the “real world” is what inspires her music. The voluptious songstress also revealed that she doesn’t get bothered by the online criticism any longer.
“That is what I’m moving into now, and it’s a beautiful place to be,” she said. “I finally feel I can relax and have a cocktail.”
Check out Lizzo’s full cover story with Vanity Fair here.