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Lizzo says she was bullied at school for listening to Radiohead

‘I wanted to be accepted so bad; not fitting in really hurt,’ said the 34-year-old in a recent interview

Megan Graye
Tuesday 11 October 2022 15:45 BST
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Lizzo has said that she was bullied at school for listening to different music from her peers.

In a recent interview, the American singer shared her early musical influences, explaining that she loved “rock” music and played in a rock band.

According to the Grammy winner, her friends were listening to music on the radio – which she also enjoyed – but she would hide the rock bands she was listening to due to “not fitting in”.

“It was a Black school,” Lizzo said in a recent interview with Vanity Fair. “Mostly Black and brown, Caribbean, I had Nigerian friends... They were all listening to what was on the radio: Usher, Destiny’s Child, Ludacris, and I was into Radiohead’s OK Computer.

“I kept it hidden, even when I was in a rock band, because I didn’t want to be made fun of by my peers – they’d yell, ‘White girl!’” she recalled.

Lizzo remembered how the way she’d dressed had also become a subject for the bullying: “I was wearing these flared bell-bottoms with embroidery down it – and they’d say, ‘You look like a white girl, why do you want to look like a hippie?’”

“I wanted to be accepted so bad; not fitting in really hurt,” the singer said.

The “Juice” singer explained how she overcame the comments by making everyone laugh: “I have the type of social anxiety where I get louder and funnier the more stressed I am,” she said.

“My defence mechanism was humour. I became the class clown, that’s a kind of perceived confidence.”

Lizzo also addressed her use of a slur in one of her songs, explaining that she’d never previously heard it used in an offensive context.

The singer, who released her latest album Special in July, was criticised after her song “Grrrls” included a word that has been used to mock disabled people.

“I’d never heard it used as a slur against disabled people, never ever,” she said. “The music I make is in the business of feeling good and being authentic to me. Using a slur is unauthentic [sic] to me, but I did not know it was a slur.”

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