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‘This Has Happened to … Diana Ross, Whitney, Beyoncé’: Lizzo Shuts Down Talk That She Makes Music for White People

Lizzo is on a winning spree, and criticism of her global success is not going to stop her from “feeling good as hell.”

When it comes to people throwing smut on her name or music, the Grammy Award-winning artist is not turning a blind eye. Instead, she has chosen to address some of the commentary, especially those that claim she caters to white audiences, head on in her November feature for Vanity Fair. 

Lizzo. Photo: Lizzobeeating/Instagram

Lizzo said people equating her diverse audiences as a sign that she has sold out is simply not true. “That is probably the biggest criticism I’ve received, and it is such a critical conversation when it comes to Black artists. 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 said. 

The reality , according to the “Truth Hurts” singer, is that new levels of success comes with a broader fanbase, one that inevitably includes people who are not Black. She noted that this is not a new phenomenon. 

She continued, “I was so startled when I watched [YouTube clips of gospel great] Sister Rosetta Tharpe… when they turned the camera around, it was a completely white audience. Tina Turner, when she played arenas—white audience. This has happened to so many Black artists: Diana Ross, Whitney, Beyoncé. … Rap artists now, those audiences are overwhelmingly white.”

And just because fans have noticed the influx of white fans does not mean the body positive artist has lost any sense of connection to Black culture; she is after all a Black woman.

“I am not making music for white people,” she said. “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. … 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?”

Fan reactions to her remarks were overwhelmingly positive, with many urging Lizzo to continue making music that resonates with her global fanbase.

“Those haters just have limiting views of what it means to be Black. My Blackness is expansive.”

“You can’t control who loves you…… and btw everybody loves you!!!!”

“I don’t get it. Can’t you just make music for people to enjoy with out someone labeling it. That’s what’s wrong with the world. You do you.”

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