Grammy-winning artist Lizzo shared a powerful and timely message to her fans during a speech at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday.
“I just want to say, I've been thinking a lot about suppression and the voices that refuse to be suppressed. And I wonder, would I be standing here right now if it weren't for the big Black women who refused to have their voices be suppressed?" Lizzo said.
— Billboard Music Awards (@BBMAs) October 15, 2020
"I just want to say right now if you're at home watching this and you're thinking about changing yourself to feel worthy, this is your sign to remain true to who you are,” she said, holding her trophy for Top Song Sales Artist.
“Whether it’s through music, protest or your right to vote, use your power. Use your voice and refuse to be suppressed,” she said. “When people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power. They’re afraid of your power.”
Wearing a Christian Siriano dress that read "Vote on the front, Lizzo spoke passionately about suppression and the fight against it, referencing the challenges she's faced in her journey to stardom.
The "Good As Hell" singer also decorated her nails to include the word "vote."
At the beginning of the week, the singer took to Instagram to encourage her followers to get out to vote while dressed as "Auntie Sam," a play on Uncle Sam.
"Hey YOU. Have you felt the same disconnect from this country? Have YOU felt like this nation is your house but not your home? It’s because we are on stolen land trying to live within laws written by white men FOR white men in 1787," Lizzo wrote.
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Hey YOU. Have you felt the same disconnect from this country? Have YOU felt like this nation is your house but not your home? It’s because we are on stolen land trying to live within laws written by white men FOR white men in 1787. I see YOU using your power of protest and your freedom of speech. I see YOU unlearning the narrow scope of our history and seeking the truth. ITS TIME TO USE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE. WE NEED YOU. DID YOU KNOW? -Approximately four in ten (40%) of eligible voters didn’t turn out to vote in 2016 ?? IF YOU WANT TO VOTE BUT DONT KNOW WHERE TO START: Text LIZZOBEVOTING to 26797 to make sure you’re registered to vote, confirm your polling location, and get reminders for all your elections. #iamavoter
In January, famous personal trainer Jillian Michaels took time out of her appearance on a BuzzFeed show to slam Lizzo and people who liked her, asking, “Why are we celebrating her body?"
“Cause it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes,” Michaels added.
Lizzo has spoken at length online and in interviews about the impact the criticism has on her and how she has had to work past it.
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I learned in the last 24hrs that being emotionally honest can save your life. Reaching out may be hard but as soon as I did it, I was immediately covered in love. I used to think of sadness as a constant with fleeting moments of joy in between… but it’s a wave ????joy????sadness????joy????sadness???? and my sadness can be as temporary as my joy. I went on live to have a discussion about triggers. My triggers are: rejection and inadequacy. But I love that I’m more emotionally honest lately. I love that I can use my sadness constructively in real time for gratitude. What triggers your sadness? What do you do when those buttons are pushed? What do you love about yourself in those moments of darkness?
“Let me tell y'all something. When people try to suppress something, it's normally because that thing holds power. They're afraid of your power," Lizzo said at the BBMAs. "There's power in who you are, there's power in your voice. Whether it's through music, through protest, or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice, and refuse to be suppressed.”