Lizzo Changes Lyrics to New Song ‘GRRRLS' After Criticism Over Ableist Slur

Lizzo spoke out about the "derogatory language" in her new song "GRRRLS," saying she knows "the power words can have"

In this March 14, 2021, file photo, Lizzo attends the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

The truth hurts — but Lizzo is ready to make a change.

The singer announced Monday she is changing the lyrics to her new song "GRRRLS," which dropped June 10, after fans called her out for using language that's offensive to those with disabilities.

The single has a lyric that uses the word “spaz,” a slur against people with disabilities, though it's generally accepted in the United States to mean "freaking out."

One Twitter user wrote, "As a black disabled individual w/spastic cerebral palsy, I am upset that Lizzo used an ableist slur in her song. Using 'sp@z' as a slur in a song or everyday language neglects to understand the lived experiences of folks who have to deal with spasms on a daily basis."

Lizzo heard the feedback and shared that's she's replacing the word.

"It's been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song 'GRRRLS,'" she wrote Monday on her social media accounts. "Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language."

She continued, "As a fat black woman in America, I've had many hurtful words used against me so I overstand [sic] the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally)."

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

In response to the note, fans praised her for adjusting her song. "Thank you for listening to disabled people and doing the right thing," one said, while another added, "and this is why Lizzo is an ICON."

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