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Lizzo Sparks Ableism Debate Over Her New Song ‘Grrrls’

Singer songwriter Lizzo created waves this week over her new song, “Grrrls,” set to appear in her new album, “Special.” Only, it wasn’t the kind of response she was hoping for. Instead, intense backlash came her way due to the song containing what many have claimed is an ableist slur.

In the original lyrics, the word in question comes in the opening line of the song: “Hold my bag, b***h (girls). Hold my bag. Do you see this s**t? I’ma spaz.” Short for “spastic,” spaz’s usage in Lizzo’s song was meant to signify losing physical or emotional control. In that context, the word seems harmless.

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However, many have called it offense due to spaz being associated with people who suffer from cerebral palsy and spastic paralysis, which cause muscle stiffness and loss of movement. In the past, spaz has also been used as a derogatory term, meant to label someone uncool or weird. According to Dictionary.com, spaz is defined as “an awkward or clumsy person.”

After the backlash, Lizzo updated her lyrics to “Do you see this s**t? Hold me back.” Additionally, she posted an apology on her social media accounts, explaining that her harm was never intended, and that she can relate to derogatory statements.

“As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hurtful words used against me so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally),” she said. “This is the result of me listening and taking action.”

Lizzo ended her apology by saying that “as an influential artist I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.” The singer’s statement was generally well-received by her audience for being understanding and supporting.

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Some have been quick to call the responses as part of “cancel culture,” the idea of holding people accountable or punishing them in some way for wrongdoings. While some pushes in the vein of cancel culture are noble, others have gotten swept up in the political discourse of the nation, ultimately being ridiculed due to sensitivity.

However, as NBC News entertainment writer Charlotte Colombo explained, the push wasn’t simply meant to “cancel” Lizzo. Instead, those hurt by the slang saw it as an opportunity to show why the word can have such a profound effect on listeners who struggle with disabilities every day.

“Calling out the use of this word in the song is important because if the word is used in a song by a widely popular artist, there’s a chance that it can become normalized again.”

The idea of race has also been discussed in the debate that’s soon sprung up, with some claiming that black singers are more likely to be called out for using derogatory lyrics in their songs more than mixed and white singers are. In 2021, country singer Morgan Waller saw his following and chart placements increase following a video of him saying the n-word surfaced.

One such Twitter user used that idea in an argument, accusing rapper Cardi B of the same actions as Lizzo, but getting away with it. The Grammy Award winner didn’t hold back in her response, stating that if she was Lizzo, she would have told people to “SMD.”

Spotify on Phone

Spotify Announces Bad Bunny As Its Most Streamed Artist In 2020

Spotify is releasing their annual yearly reports for all of its users that give them a breakdown of their most listened to artists, songs, albums, podcasts, and more for the past year. Before they do though, they release their own stats for the artists and music that has topped their charts for the year. For 2020, Bad Bunny was the world’s most streamed artist with more than 8.3 billion streams of his discography. 

Bad Bunny, also known as Benito Ocasio, is the 26-year-old who was also given the accolade of 2020’s most streamed album, with his sophomore record “YHLQMDLG”, which was released back in February. 

Last week he dropped a surprise album titled “El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo,” and the lead single from the album, “Dakiti,” is currently the most streamed song in the world. For 2020 in general, The Weeknd received the reward for most streamed song with his record-breaking hit “Blinding Lights.” 

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Bad Bunny is a Puerto Rican rapper, singer, and fashion star who is no stranger to charting on some of the world’s most popular streaming services. Last year he was the fifth most streamed artist in the world, so his placement in the top ten this year, let alone as number one, isn’t that shocking. 

In general Bad Bunny has received massive commercial success and critical acclaims within the past year alone. He won the Latin Grammy for Best Reggaeton Performance in October, and is currently nominated for two awards at the 2021 Grammys.

Runners-up for the most-streamed male artists in 2020 are Drake, J Balvin, Juice WRLD, and the Weeknd; whose album “After Hours” broke records on the charts this year and came in as the second most streamed album of the year, despite being controversially snubbed from receiving any Grammy nominations this year. Post Malone, Harry Styles, and Dua Lipa take the other top 5 positions for most-streamed albums. 

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In terms of the artists with the most streamed songs of 2020, The Weeknd received the top spot with “Blinding Lights,” Tones & I followed with their popular TikTok song “Dance Monkey”, then its Roddy Ricch with “The Box”, Saint Jhn with “Roses”, and finally Dua Lipa with “Don’t Start Now.”

The most streamed female artists for 2020 in this order are Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa, and Halsey. 

The most popular podcast for Spotify this year was the Joe Rogan Podcast, marking a massively successful first year for the production. Rogan is also thought to be the world’s highest-paid broadcaster, however, these claims are unconfirmed. 

Spotify started 2020 with 124 million paid subscribers and by the end of the year they had over 144 million; overall the platform has over 320 million users, the remaining amount of users accounts for those who use Spotify’s free package.