Lizzo was honored with the Black Music Action Coalition’s Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award on Thursday night. The singer, who is facing a series of accusations and lawsuits about her off-stage behavior, was pointedly joined by Lizzo’s Big Grrls onstage as she accepted the award.
“Black Music Action Coalition, y’all really are about that action. Thank you so much for this, because I needed this right now,” Lizzo said during her speech, according to Variety. “God’s timing is always on time! I didn’t write a speech because I don’t know what to say in times like these.”
“It’s easy to do the right thing when everybody’s watching you, and it’s what you do in those moments when nobody’s watching that defines who you are,” she continued. “And I’m going to continue to be who I am, no matter who’s watching. I’m going to continue to shine a light on the people who are helping people, because they deserve it. I’m going to continue to amplify the voices of marginalized people because I have a microphone and I know how to use it.”
She added, “And, I’m going to continue to put on and represent safe spaces for fat Black women, because that’s what the fuck I do!”
The award ceremony took place only hours after Lizzo was slapped with a lawsuit from a former wardrobe designer for her tour earlier this year. Asra Daniels, who worked as a wardrobe designer on Lizzo’s 2023 tour and helped design outfits for the rapper’s “Big Grrrl” dancers, filed the lawsuit against Lizzo, her wardrobe manager Amanda Nomura, and her tour manager Carlina Gugliotta Thursday in a Los Angeles superior court. The suit included claims of sexual harassment, disability discrimination, illegal retaliatory termination, assault, and more.
The lawsuit follows one filed by three of Lizzo’s former dancers who made claims of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment against her. Another 14 dancers who worked with the singer received a separate settlement in connection to her 2022 documentary Love, Lizzo.
The singer has previously denied all accusations, responding in part in a statement, “I am not here to be looked at as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days. There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world. I know what it feels like to be body shamed on a daily basis and would absolutely never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight.”
Yesterday, Lizzo’s spokesman Stefan Friedman told Rolling Stone that the singer was focused on her achievements rather than the accusations.
“As Lizzo receives a Humanitarian Award tonight from the Black Music Action Coalition for the incredible charitable work she has done to lift up all people, an ambulance-chasing lawyer tries to sully this honor by recruiting someone to file a bogus, absurd publicity-stunt lawsuit who, wait for it, never actually met or even spoke with Lizzo,” Friedman said in a statement. “We will pay this as much attention as it deserves. None.”