Lizzo Says It's 'Hurtful' When Critics Say Her Music Is for White People: 'I Am a Black Woman'

"I feel like it really challenges my identity and who I am, and diminishes that," Lizzo said of critics who say she makes music for White people

Lizzo knows who she is — and she's clapping back at her critics!

While appearing on The Howard Stern Show earlier this week, the musician, 34, opened up to host Howard Stern about how it is "really hurtful" when critics will say that her music is made for White people.

"[It's] very hurtful, only because I am a Black woman, and I feel like it really challenges my identity and who I am, and diminishes that — which I think is really hurtful," Lizzo said, after Stern, 68, mentioned that the star talks about the critiques in her HBO Max documentary Love, Lizzo.

"And then, on the other end, it's like, I'm making funky, soulful, feel-good music that is so similar to a lot of Black music, that was made for Black people in the '70s and '80s," she continued. "And on top of that, my message is literally for everybody, in any body. I don't try to gatekeep my message from people."

Added Lizzo: "I feel like a lot of people, truthfully, don't get me, which is why I wanted to do this documentary. Because I was like, 'I feel like y'all don't understand me, y'all don't know where I came from,' and now I don't want to answer no more questions about this s---. I want to show the world who I am."

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Lizzo visits SiriusXM's 'The Howard Stern Show' at SiriusXM Studios on December 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Lizzo. Emma McIntyre/Getty

The "About Damn Time" singer echoed similar sentiments while chatting with Entertainment Weekly last month, where she told the outlet that the genre of pop music is "racist inherently."

"I think if people did any research they would see that there was race music and then there was pop music," she explained. "And race music was their way of segregating Black artists from being mainstream, because they didn't want their kids listening to music created by Black and Brown people because they said it was demonic and yada, yada, yada."

"So then there were these genres created almost like code words: R&B, and then of course eventually hip-hop and rap was born from that," Lizzo continued. "I think when you think about pop, you think about MTV in the '80s talking about 'We can't play rap music' or 'We can't put this person on our platform because we're thinking about what people in the middle of America think' — and we all know what that's code for."

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Lizzo then said that there currently is a "well-oiled pop machine, but remember that it has a racist origin."

"I think the coolest thing I've seen is rap and hip-hop artists become pop. Now pop music is really rap in its DNA — rap is running the game, and I think that's so cool," she added. "But we forget that in the late '80s and the early '90s, there were these massive pop diva records that were sang by Black women like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey. And I'm giving that same energy. I'm giving that same energy with a little bit of rap, and I think that people just have to get used to me. I think anything that's new, people are going to criticize and feel like it's not for them."

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