Change over time. Beyonce joined the ranks of Taylor Swift, Lizzo and other artists who changed their lyrics after realizing they were offending listeners.
While Beyoncé’s album Renaissancewhich originally dropped in July 2022, was widely praised, controversy erupted after listeners noticed the singer used the word “spaz” in the song “Heated.”
“Spazzin’ on that ass, spazz on that ass,” she sings on the original version of the track.
Medical professionals define the word “spastic” as a symptom of a disability that makes it difficult to control one’s muscles, including cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and spinal cord injury.
“So @Beyonce used the word ‘spaz’ in her new song Heated”, disability advocate Hannah Diviney written via Twitter the day after the album’s release. “It’s like a slap in the face to me, the disability community and the progress we’ve been trying to make with Lizzo. I guess I’ll keep telling the whole industry to ‘do better’ until the ableist insults disappear from the music 💔.
While some have argued that the word isn’t considered deeply offensive in the United States, others have noted that the “Crazy In Love” singer makes music for the whole world. “Don’t use it, it’s as simple as that. If you want to be ‘international’ think about your ‘international’ fanbase when writing songs,” one reviewer tweeted.
Three days after “Heated” was released, the Texas native vowed to change the lyrics. “The word, which is not intentionally used in a harmful way, will be replaced,” Beyoncé’s reps said. Variety in a statement at the time.
The correction was welcomed by activists like Diviney. “Waking up this morning to hear @Beyonce heard and acknowledged the call from the disability community to remove ability language from their music is an incredible feeling,” the England native said. tweeted in August 2022. “Where it leads, the music industry follows. Many thanks to Bey + his team. I am so grateful ❤️.”
The controversy came just weeks after Lizzo received backlash for using the same word. “Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag / See that thing? I’m a spaz,” the flautist rapped on the song “GRRRLS,” released in June 2022.
“It has come 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 said in a statement via social media.
“As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had a lot of hurtful words used against me, so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally),” the native added. from Michigan. “I am proud to say that there is a new version of ‘GRRRLS’ with a change of lyrics. It is the result of my listening and my doing. As an influential artist, I am dedicated to being part of the change I expected to see in the world.
In the updated version of “GRRLS,” she sings, “Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag / See that shit? Hold me.”
Lizzo and Beyoncé aren’t the only ones tweaking their lyrics. Scroll down to see more artists who have swapped lyrics after controversy: