Singer Lizzo, born Melissa Viviane Jefferson, had the best year of her career in 2019 thanks to her breakthrough third album Cuz I Love You. She became known as an advocate for body positivity and self-love and scored hits with "Truth Hurts" and "Juice." However, Lizzo has attracted a handful of controversies along the way to superstardom.
Lizzo's road to stardom has been long. She released her first album, Lizzobangers, back in 2013, and followed it with Big Grrrl Small World two years later. In 2016, she finally made her major-label debut with the 2016 EP Coconut Oil. In April, Atlantic released her first album on a major label, Cuz I Love You.
Thanks to the new album, she scored eight Grammy nominations. "Truth Hurts" was nominated for Song of the year, Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance, while Cuz I Love You earned nods for Album of the Year and Best Urban Contemporary Album. Lizzo also scored a nod for Best New Artist.
Despite all those accolades, Lizzo has run into trouble with social media on several occasions. Scroll on to see some of the biggest controversies she has faced.
Photo credit: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images
Lizzo's latest controversy came on Dec. 8, when she wore a butt-baring shirt to the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center. The singer strongly defended her right to show off her behind at a public event on Instagram and later on CBS This Morning.
"I got up and I just did what I always do. Anyone who knows me knows that this is how I've always been. This is how I like to dress," Lizzo said. "I had all the layers down there. So it wasn't just flesh to seat, contrary to popular belief. ... but um, yeah, it [her butt] was out."
Lizzo later added, "You know how long it took me to fall in love with this body? My butt was my least favorite thing about myself and I learned to love it. And now it's the thing everybody can't stop talking about. Be you. Do you. Don't ever let anybody steal your joy, especially not the internet."
Back in October, songwriting brothers Justin and Jeremiah Raisen claimed they attended a writing session with Lizzo, Jesse Saint John and Yves Rothman and wrote a song called "Healthy." The song included the line, "I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100% that b—."
That line is also featured in "Truth Hurts," and the Raisens alleged Lizzo plagiarized it without crediting them. Lizzo later denied those claims, but gave Mina Lioness credit for sharing a meme that included the now-famous line. Lioness is now credited as a co-writer on the track.
PSA for the weirdos that think I have the TIME to fabricate a flute back-story, RENT a flute to tour with and PRETEND to play. 🙄 Bitch, I’m a full time artist. I been on this flute shit, read my old interviews ho! Enjoy this F natural🖕🏾 pic.twitter.com/LUiCWDm0aR— Feelin Good As Hell (@lizzo) November 12, 2018
Lizzo is a trained flutist, and often plays the flute at her concerts. However, there were some skeptical about her skills. In November 2018, she tried to shoot down the haters with a hilarious video on Twitter in which she played the "F" note.
"PSA for the weirdos that think I have the TIME to fabricate a flute back-story, RENT a flute to tour with and PRETEND to play. B—, I’m a full time artist. I been on this flute s—, read my old interviews ho! Enjoy this F natural," she wrote.
In September, Lizzo accused a Postmates driver of stealing her food in a tweet. A company spokesperson later said the driver waited five minutes for Lizzo, but she had to move on when the singer did not appear to pick up her food.
"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," Lizzo wrote on Twitter.
In April, after Cuz I Love You began picked up positive review after positive review, Pitchfork published a lukewarm review of the record. The reviewer gave the record a 6.5/10 and called Lizzo "clearly a talent." But it was not positive enough for Lizzo, who later tweeted "PEOPLE WHO ‘REVIEW’ ALBUMS AND DONT MAKE MUSIC THEMSELVES SHOULD BE UNEMPLOYED."
Lizzo later deleted the tweet.
Lizzo was a headliner at Summerfest in Milwaukee in June. After performing at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse stage in front of 10,000 people she took to Twitter to accuse a staffer of getting physical with her team.
"DID ANYBODY GET FOOTAGE OF THE SECURITY GUARD THAT TACKLED AND ATTACKED MY TEAM [SUMMERFEST]?!" she wrote. "THEY SLAPPED AND MANHANDLED MY HAIR STYLIST AND STYLIST AND IM OUT FOR BLOOD."
"Lizzo gave an incredible performance which she now feels is tarnished by events which occurred during the performance. We do not tolerate racism in any form. We will conduct a thorough investigation," Summerfest staff responded in a statement.
The statement continued, "We have an experienced crowd management staff who strive to protect performers & fans. While there may be challenges during a performance, we expect those challenges to be handled professionally & respectfully. If those standards were not met, we will take appropriate action."
On Nov. 27, Lizzo shocked Instagram users by posting a photo of her bare behind. She also included a photo of Homer Simpson with her behind pasted over his mouth. "Kiss my a—, doh!" she wrote in the caption. The photo earned some negative responses, but many of her fans supported her for posting the racy image.
Azealia banks attack lizzo pic.twitter.com/VPuxpmb2C5— nicole145 (@nicole31556167) September 3, 2019
One person who is definitely not a fan of Lizzo's work is Azalea Banks. In September, Banks shared a long message on Instagram blasting Lizzo, writing that she "looks like she is making a fool of her black self for a white American public."
"Lmao the fact that the public and the media has been keeping this fat girl joke going for so long is honestly peak boredom," Azalea wrote. "The song is not good, nor is the dumpy fat girl spectacle live set she does. Saddest bit is that the girl is legit talented and truly only being allowed to shine so long as she allows herself to be this millennial mammy of sorts."