Beyoncé's recent live performance of her hit song "Break My Soul" during her Renaissance tour at Foxborough's Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts on August 1 has sparked controversy and speculation. Fans were quick to notice that Beyoncé appeared to leave out Lizzo's name during the rendition, replacing it with repeated mentions of Erykah Badu's name.
This unexpected omission has led to various theories and reactions from netizens, particularly in light of the allegations made against Lizzo by three former backup dancers on the same day. In this article, we delve into the details of the controversy, explore the possible reasons behind Beyoncé's decision, and examine the reactions from fans and the internet community.
During her performance of "Break My Soul," Beyoncé took the opportunity to pay tribute to influential Black female artists by including their names in the lyrics. The list of artists mentioned in the song includes Rosetta Tharpe, Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Nina Simone, Bessie Smith, Santigold, Solange Knowles, Betty Davis, Roberta Flack, Grace Jones, Janet Jackson, Toni Braxton, Erykah Badu, Helen Folasade Adu, Jill Scott, Diana Gordon, Kelly Rowland, Missy Elliott, Tierra Whack, Lauryn Hill, and Lizzo. However, fans noticed that Lizzo's name was conspicuously missing during Beyoncé's live performance.
The controversy surrounding Lizzo's exclusion from Beyoncé's rendition of "Break My Soul" coincided with news of a lawsuit filed against Lizzo and her production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc (BGBT), by three former backup dancers. The lawsuit alleges various instances of sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, and other misconduct.
The former dancers, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, claim to have experienced sexual, religious, and racial harassment, as well as disability discrimination during their time working with Lizzo.
In the lawsuit, the former dancers outline specific incidents that allegedly occurred during their employment with Lizzo. One notable incident mentioned is a trip to Amsterdam's red light district in February 2023. According to the complaint, performers were allegedly coerced into participating in activities they were uncomfortable with, including being encouraged to touch nude performers at a club named Bananenbar. The dancers expressed shock and disappointment at Lizzo's alleged disregard for their autonomy and the presence of other employees.
Beyoncé's decision to skip Lizzo's name in her live performance has sparked a range of reactions from fans and the internet community. Some fans speculate that Beyoncé purposefully omitted Lizzo's name as a response to the allegations made against her. Others believe that Beyoncé may have repeated Erykah Badu's name four times as a way to counter the shade Badu recently threw at her for wearing a similar oversized metallic hat during her tour. Some fans even suggest that Beyoncé's omission of Lizzo's name was a way to address both Badu and Lizzo simultaneously.
The internet has been buzzing with reactions to Beyoncé excluding Lizzo's name from her performance. On social media platforms like Twitter, users have shared their thoughts and theories about the controversy. Some fans express confusion and disappointment, while others interpret Beyoncé's actions as a deliberate snub. One Twitter user commented that this could be the beginning of the end for Lizzo, implying that the allegations and Beyoncé's omission may have serious consequences for the singer.
It is worth noting that Lizzo is known for being a huge fan of Beyoncé. In June, Lizzo posted an emotional Instagram video in which she shared the moment Beyoncé displayed her name over the crowd during her Renaissance tour. Lizzo expressed how much the gesture meant to her, particularly in light of her own experiences with bullying. She also referenced Beyoncé's meeting with Tina Turner and emphasized the interconnectedness and significance of their roles as artists.
The allegations made against Lizzo and the subsequent controversy surrounding her exclusion from Beyoncé's performance have undoubtedly had an impact on Lizzo's reputation. As a prominent figure in the music industry, Lizzo has faced scrutiny and criticism from fans and the public alike. While some continue to support her, others question her actions and treatment of her employees. The outcome of the lawsuit and the response from the music community will likely play a significant role in shaping Lizzo's future career.