After days of public backlash, American singer Melissa Viviane Jefferson, professionally known as Lizzo, removed an offensive term for disabled people from her latest song, saying she “never want[ed] to promote derogatory language.”


Grrrls, the latest track from the musician’s upcoming album Special, was released on Friday.

In the opening verse, the pop star – who has become well-known for her lyrics championing acceptance and self-love – used a derogatory term for spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy.


The song was almost immediately criticised by fans and disability advocates, with tweets and TikToks explaining the history and offensive nature of the term being shared and liked hundreds of thousands of times.


The songwriter released a written public apology on Monday.


“It has been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song Grrrls. Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language,” she wrote.

“As a fat black woman in America, I have had many hurtful words used against me so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally, or in my case, unintentionally.)” read part of the apology.


The 34-year-old said she was proud to release a new version of the song with a changed lyric.

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