“When Black people see a lot of white people in the audience, they think, ‘Well this isn’t for me, this is for them.’ The thing is, when a Black artist reaches a certain level of popularity, it’s going to be a predominantly white crowd,” the “About Damn Time” singer explained. “I was so startled when I watched [YouTube clips of gospel great] Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who was an innovator of rock and roll. She was like ‘I’m going to take gospel and shred guitar,’ and when they turned the camera around, it was a completely white audience.”
Lizzo then pointed out several other Black artists who also makes music for white audiences. “Tina Turner, when she played arenas—white audience. This has happened to so many Black artists: Diana Ross, Whitney, Beyoncé.… Rap artists now, those audiences are overwhelmingly white,” she said.
“I am not making music for white people. I am a Black woman, I am making music from my Black experience, for me to heal myself [from] the experience we call life,” she continued. “Because we are the most marginalized and neglected people in this country. We need self-love and self-love anthems more than anybody. So am I making music for that girl right there who looks like me, who grew up in a city where she was underappreciated and picked on and made to feel unbeautiful? Yes. It blows my mind when people say I’m not making music from a Black perspective–how could I not do that as a Black artist?”
Lizzo is currently on her “Special Tour,” in support of her fourth studio album Special. The tour began at the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida on Sept. 23, 2022, and is set to close out at the O2 Arena in London on March 16, 2023.