Beyoncé seemingly removes Lizzo shout-out from song during concert following harassment claims

Some fans believe the altered lyrics were a reference to recent criticism from Erykah Badu

Annabel Nugent
Thursday 03 August 2023 04:32 BST
Lizzo plays Lord of the Rings theme on recorder at Hobbiton

Beyoncé fans have speculated that she left Lizzo’s name out of a live performance due to recent allegations made against the singer.

The pop star, 41, regularly performs “Break My Soul (The Queens Remix)” as part of her set for the ongoing worldwide Renaissance tour.

There is a segment in the song’s lyrics in which Beyoncé lists off a number of Black female artists, including Lizzo, Lauryn Hill, Betty Davis, and her sister Solange Knowles.

During her performance in Boston, Massachusetts on Tuesday night (1 August), the singer altered the lyrics, appearing to leave out Lizzo’s name on purpose.

Many fans took this to be a deliberate omission in response to news that three of Lizzo’s former dancers have filed a lawsuit against the musician, accusing her of sexual harassment and fostering a hostile work environment.

Lizzo’s name, though, was not the only one that Beyoncé cut out of the lyrics. She also left out Betty Davis, Solange Knowles, and Kelly Rowland.

The original lyrics to the song are: “Betty Davis / Solange Knowles / Badu / Lizzo / Kelly Rowl’.”

On Tuesday (1 August), Beyoncé simply repeated “Badu” four times, in a reference to US musician Erykah Badu.

Many fans believe that the amended lyrics were not a snub to Lizzo but, in fact, a reference to Badu’s recent remarks “accusing” Beyoncé of copying her style.

During her latest shows in New York, Beyoncé has worn a chrome hat with an oversized brim, and earlier this week, Badu – best known for hits such as 1997’s “On & On” – suggested that Beyoncé got the inspiration for the hat from her.

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Alongside a photo of her and Beyoncé wearing similar chrome hats, Badu commented: “Hmmm. I guess I’m everybody’s stylist.”

Some fans believe, therefore, that Beyoncé’s altered lyrics – which saw her repeat Badu’s name four times – was not a response to the allegations against Lizzo but a response to Badu’s remarks.

The Independent has contacted a representative of Beyoncé’s for comment.

On Tuesday (1 August), news emerged that three of Lizzo’s dancers have filed a lawsuit against the “About Damn Time” singer.

Lizzo performs at the United Center on 17 May 2023 in Chicago

The 44-page lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by The Independent, alleges that Lizzo (real name Melissa Viviane Jefferson) pressured one of the plaintiffs into touching a nude performer at an Amsterdam strip club and orchestrated a humiliating 12-hour audition process for her dancers.

Lizzo’s representatives did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment.

The accusations fly in the face of the 35-year-old star’s public persona. As a performer, she is known for promoting body positivity, women’s rights, LGBT+ rights, and anti-bullying.

Lizzo performs at Glastonbury festival earlier this year

They also claim that Lizzo and her production company Big Grrrl big Touring are responsible for assault, racial and religious harassment, fat-shaming, disability discrimination, and false imprisonment.

“The stunning nature of how Lizzo and her management team treated their performers seems to go against everything Lizzo stands for publicly, while privately she weight-shames her dancers and demeans them in ways that are not only illegal but absolutely demoralising,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, Ron Zambrano, said in a statement.

Read more about the lawsuit here.

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