The Shady Side Of Lizzo

Lizzo's larger-than-life personality, unapologetic attitude, and incredible vocals have made her a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. She's anything but mainstream, with body positivity and women empowerment being the resounding messages behind her many chart-topping hits. The artist, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, dropped her debut album "Lizzobangers" in 2013, but it wasn't until 2019 that her real banger "Truth Hurts" would earn her a No. 1 hit. 

You can't put Lizzo in a category, and that's part of the reason the Houston native has been so successful. Her blend of hip-hop, rap, and pop music that preach self-love and care has garnered her a mega-fan base and earned her four Grammy awards. Not only does her music speak volumes, but so does she. It's no question that Lizzo is not afraid to speak out over injustice and prejudice, as she's experienced much of it herself. She's not your typical pop star — and she's battled her own struggles with weight and appearance throughout her career. However, Lizzo has taken it in stride, celebrating and embracing her larger figure and encouraging others to do the same.

The "Fitness" artist's show-stopping career hasn't been without its ups and downs. After all, what Hollywood star hasn't been involved in their fair share of controversy? Whether she's in a feud, or she's being sued, Lizzo is making headlines for more than just her music. It's "About Damn Time" we look at the shady side of Lizzo.

Lizzo was sued by her back-up dancers over sexual harassment

It isn't exactly the best look to be sued by your backup dancers. Lizzo made headlines in 2023 when her former backup dancers Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez filed a lawsuit against her accusing her of sexual harassment and for creating a hostile work environment. The dancers brought a total of nine allegations against the singer, claiming they were "weight-shamed, forced to endure sexually denigrating behavior and preaching about sexuality and Christianity, and were pressured into participating in disturbing sex shows," per a statement from West Coast Employment Lawyers, who represent the plaintiffs.  

Lizzo took to Twitter denying the allegations calling the claims "too outrageous to be addressed." She went on to write: "These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional." The artist denied the dancers' claims that she fired an employee over weight gain, writing that supporting women is her utmost priority. 

Included in the lawsuit are claims that Lizzo pressured her dancers to engage in sexual behavior with nude performers at Amsterdam's red light district, and berated Davis for her hesitation. Rodriguez alleged that the "Juice" singer had to be physically restrained after confronting her for wanting to resign. The artist was also accused of falsely imprisoning Davis in a room while tour staff allegedly confiscated her phone. Davis and Williams claim they were fired, and Rodriguez ultimately resigned.

Lizzo was called out for a using an offensive slur

Lizzo's 2022 track "GRRRLS" wasn't exactly met with rave reviews upon its release. The "Good As Hell" singer received backlash for using a disability slur in her single. In the original version, she sang: "Hold my bag, b—, hold my bag / Do you see this s—? I'm a s—z," which caught the attention of those with Cerebral Palsy. Following the track's release, one user tweeted: "Hey @lizzo my disability Cerebral Palsy is literally classified as Spastic Diplegia (where spasticity refers to unending painful tightness in my legs) your new song makes me pretty angry + sad. 'Spaz' doesn't mean freaked out or crazy. It's an ableist slur. It's 2022. Do better."

Lizzo promptly changed the song lyrics from "I'm a s—z" to "Hold me back." Lizzo took to Instagram to announce the updated songwriting: "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."

The singer's fans praised her for listening and not being offended. Hannah Diviney, who originally spoke out about the lyric, took to Twitter in response to Lizzo's statement. "Thank you so much for hearing us Lizzo and for understanding that this was only ever meant gently and being open to learning, it honestly means the world."

Lizzo's beef with Kanye

Lizzo was added to the long list of celebrities that Kanye West has had beef with in 2022. The "Jesus Walks" rapper called out Lizzo for her weight on Fox's former segment "Tucker Carlson Tonight" saying: "When Lizzo loses 10 pounds and announces it, the bots ... on Instagram, they attack her losing weight, because the media wants to put out a perception that being overweight is the new goal when it's actually unhealthy," he said, adding, "It's demonic."

While Kanye is well-known for his salacious commentary and willingness to start fights with just about anyone, Lizzo didn't take too kindly to the body-shaming. She seemingly called out the "Waves" singer while performing onstage during a show in Toronto. "I feel like everybody in America got my motherf**ing name in their motherf**ing mouth for no motherf**ing reason," she told the audience. "I'm minding my fat, black, beautiful business!" she said, adding jokingly, "Can I stay here? Who can I marry for that dual citizenship?"

Lizzo was accused of plagiarizing

Lizzo may have chart-topping hits, but not everyone is convinced her songs are original. In 2019, the "Special" singer was accused of plagiarism more than once, including by artist CeCe Peniston. She claimed that Lizzo's track "Juice" was strikingly similar to her chart-topping 90s hit "Finally." Peniston posted a comparison video, claiming that the "Boys" artist's chorus adlib was stolen from her track. "This is a clear example of #copyrightinfringement," she wrote in her post (per Independent). "Cece Penison versus @lizzobeeating, y'all check this out and btw I love her music."

Lizzo ran into controversy for her track "Truth Hurts" as well by music producer Justin Raisen. He claimed the singer took the lyric, "I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100 percent that b**ch," from a sample track he recorded with her. In a since-deleted Instagram post, Raisen claimed that Lizzo never credited him or songwriter Jesse Saint John, and producer/songwriter Yves Rothman, who also worked on the demo track.

The singer clapped back at the accusations, tweeting: "The men who claim a piece of 'Truth Hurts' did not help me write any part of the song," she wrote. "They had nothing to do with the line or how I chose to sing it. There was no one in the room when I wrote 'Truth Hurts', except me, Ricky Reed, and my tears." The singer went on to credit the line to a viral tweet originally written by Mina Lioness.

Lizzo clapped back at Aries Spears body-shaming comments

Lizzo has a message for all the body shamers, but especially for one in particular. Comedian Aries Spears called out the Grammy award-winning artist for her weight on "The Art Of Dialogue," saying: "I can't get past the fact that she looks like the s–t emoji," he said. "She's got a very pretty face, but she keeps showing her body off like, come on, man. Come on, yo." Spears went on to compare the artist to a "plate of mashed potatoes" and attack those who praise the artist for her body confidence. 

The "2 Be Loved" singer took the derogatory comments in stride, using the VMA stage to seemingly address the comedian. Upon winning the Video for Good award at the ceremony for her video "About Damn Time," Lizzo took the time to address the haters in her acceptance speech. After thanking the audience for their vote, she said: "I want to say thank you so much for supporting me and loving me," adding, "And now, to the b**ches that got something to say about me in the press, you know what, I'm not going to say nothing. They'll be like, 'Lizzo, why don't you clap back?' Because b**ch, I'm winning, hoe! Big b**ch is winning, hoe!"

Did Lizzo throw shade at Taylor Swift?

Did Lizzo have bad blood with Taylor Swift? Her fans certainly thought so show during a show in Australia in 2023. The controversy began when Lizzo made an Instagram Live (per Daily Mail), saying, "The most popular person of today ain't even comparable to what Beyonce is doing." Viewers took that as a shot at Swift, whose "Eras" tour continues to break records and is projected to earn $1 billion dollars in ticket sales.

During a tour stop in Australia, Lizzo addressed the alleged feud after spotting a fan's sign that read: "I chose you over Taylor." In a clip from the show, the singer started off by thanking her fans for spending their money to buy tickets, addressing how high ticket prices are for shows. She went on to add: "Taylor Swift is amazing as well and you don't have to choose because I'm going to get you tickets to Taylor Swift. I'm just kidding. Did she already play? When does she come here? She's not coming here? How you choose me over Taylor?"

The singer then autographed the sign and wrote: "I heart Tay Tay too, Love Lizzo," adding that, "There's no competition here." Phew, one less Swift hater for the singer to write a song about!

A Postmates driver sued Lizzo

Lizzo never received her Postmates order, and she let her fans know about it. The food delivery controversy started in 2019 when Lizzo wrote in a since-deleted tweet (per NBC News): "Hey @Postmates this girl Tiffany W. stole my food she lucky I don't fight no more." The delivery driver, Tiffany Wells, received threats over the tweet and ultimately lost her job at Postmates. She filed a lawsuit against the singer for libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy. 

Wells claimed she picked up an order for a customer named "Bonnie V.," but the customer didn't provide a hotel room number. According to court documents Wells "made multiple calls to the phone number that the customer provided to Postmates, yet each call went unanswered." She was also informed that there was no guest under the name of "Bonnie V." staying at the hotel in question.

Lizzo took to Twitter to address the controversy, writing: "I apologize for putting that girl on blast. I understand I have a large following and that there were so many variables that could've put her in danger. Imma really be more responsible with my use of social media and check my petty and my pride at the door." As of the time of writing, it's unclear how the parties settled the dispute.

Lizzo's flute playing controversy

Lizzo is not only a talented singer, but she's a classically trained flutist as well. The "Rumors" singer sparked controversy over her talent, however, when she was allowed the opportunity to play a flute made in 1813 and gifted to former President James Madison. The Library of Congress invited Lizzo to play the crystal flute during her concert in Washington D.C. in 2022. The singer tweeted about the honor, writing: "IM THE FIRST & ONLY PERSON TO EVER PLAY THIS PRESIDENTIAL 200-YEAR-OLD CRYSTAL FLUTE— THANK YOU @librarycongress." Her tweet stands corrected, however, as NPR reported that a former University of Virginia flute instructor played the instrument in 2001.

Not everybody was as excited as Lizzo about the historic flute playing. "Simply desecrating American history just for the sake of it," one user tweeted. "James Madison was a slave owner, so according to the Left, shouldn't Lizzo be canceled now for "making history" playing his crystal flute?" said Jenna Ellis, who worked as one of Trump's election fraud lawyers (per Rolling Stone).

Despite the haters, Lizzo was overjoyed at the opportunity to play the centuries-old flute. "B**ch, I just twerked and played James Madison's crystal flute from the 1800s. We just made history tonight!" she said during the concert (per People Magazine). "Thank you to the Library of Congress for preserving our history and making history f***ing cool! History is f***ing cool, you guys!"

Lizzo's documentarian quit the project over disrespect

Lizzo's backup dancers weren't the only ones accusing the artist of a hostile work environment. Following the news of Lizzo being sued by her former dancers, Academy Award nominee documentarian Sophia Nahli Allison made some shocking claims about the singer as well. Allison took to Twitter to share her story, claiming she left a film project for the artist after just two weeks of working with her because she "was treated with such disrespect by her." The filmmaker went on to write: "I witnessed how arrogant, self-centered, and unkind she is. I was not protected and was thrown into a s**ty situation with little support," she said. "My spirit said to run as fast as you f**king can and I'm so grateful I trusted my gut."

Allison went on to write that after she read the reports about Lizzo's former backup dancers, she believes she dodged a dangerous situation by leaving the project. She went on to offer her support to the backup dancers suing the artist and called the situation an abuse of power. "Sharing this because validating other Black women's experiences is deeply important to me," she captioned her post.

As of the time of writing, Lizzo has yet to address Allison's claims. She has, however, denied the accusations against her made by her former dancers.

Lizzo threw shade at Liam Payne

Lizzo may not be the biggest One Direction fan, given the shade she gave to one of its former members. The drama started when Liam Payne made the claim that "X Factor" judge Simon Cowell created the boy band around him. On the "Impaulsive" podcast, Payne said: "From what I've heard part of the reason One Direction was made was because of Simon's promise to me," Payne admitted. "That in two years, I'll make this work for you. So, he kind of started with my face and worked out around the rest."

Lizzo didn't exactly agree with his claims, and she made it known in a TikTok video when she seemingly shaded Payne. "I don't know who lied to that poor boy," she said in her video, "but we all know he was not the frontman." While Payne isn't the frontman in Lizzo's eyes, Harry Styles could be. The two have been good friends over the years, with Styles covering her track "Juice" and even inviting her to share the stage with him in 2022 when he was the headliner at Coachella. If anyone's got the "Juice" — it's Styles.

Lizzo said she would marry her boyfriend only to become his business partner

Lizzo isn't walking down the aisle anytime soon — unless it's for financial reasons. The "About Damn Time" singer went public with her boyfriend Myke Wright in 2022, but she met the stand-up comedian in 2016. The two met that year while co-hosting MTV's music series "Wonderland" and remained close ever since.

Despite gushing over her man in her 2022 Vanity Fair interview, the singer says wedding bells aren't exactly ringing just yet. "I've known him for over six years. He's everything. We're just in love. And that's it." But the idea of being tied to one person for the rest of her life isn't exactly something Lizzo imagines. "People fight for monogamy like they pray to it every day. I am not a polyamorous person, I'm not in love with multiple partners. That is not me. He's the love of my life. We are life mates," she said. "Do I want to get married? If I wanted to start a business with him, I'd get married because that's when your finances come together."

The singer went on to admit that her independence is of utmost importance to her in her relationship. Lizzo also revealed that she doesn't agree with the idea that marital commitment is necessary for someone to feel complete. "We're like the mirror image of each other. We're connected. But that doesn't mean I was incomplete when I met him," she said.