Plot Twist?

Did Beyoncé Shoutout Support for Lizzo at a Recent Show?

When the allegations against Lizzo first came out, Beyoncé seemed ready to distance herself from her former friend, going as far as to remove Lizzo’s name from a song celebrating Black female artists. Her exact feelings on the allegations remain a mystery, but Queen Bey did make one thing clear this week: she still loves Lizzo.

On Monday, as the Renaissance tour hit the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Beyoncé gave the “Rumors” singer a shoutout. A now viral clip of the song “Break My Soul (The Queens Remix),” shows Bey belting out, “Lizzo, I love you Lizzo.”

Shoutouts are a part of the song, and Beyoncé will usually namedrop fellow Black musicians: “Badu, Lizzo, Kelly Rowl.” But ever since the lawsuit against Lizzo was filed on August 1, she has kept Lizzo’s name out of the performance.

In the lawsuit’s immediate aftermath, Beyoncé chose instead to drop Erykah Badu’s name four times. This came after Badu commented on a metallic hat Beyoncé was photographed wearing, writing on an Instagram story, “Hmm. I guess I’m everyone’s stylist. My favorite chrome mirror hat.”

After attending the Renaissance tour herself in June, Lizzo shared an emotional reaction to hearing her name called out. “In that moment I was thinking about baby me, listening to ‘Happy Face’ by Destiny’s Child and crying myself to sleep because of bullies,” she wrote on Instagram. “I thought about Beyoncé jumping into the room where Tina Turner was waiting to meet her for the first time. I think of what we all mean to people and how cyclical it is. We are all so infinitesimally and maximally connected and significant. It’s an honor. Thank you Beyoncé.”

But Lizzo’s reputation has come under fire since then. Three former backup dancers have filed a lawsuit against the singer, her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, and dance team captain Shirlene Quigley. The plaintiffs have alleged a toxic work environment that involves sexual, religious and racial harassment. One particularly troubling accusation, given Lizzo’s public advocacy for body-positivity, was behind-the-scenes fatphobia.

On August 3, Lizzo responded to the lawsuit on Instagram, characterizing the allegations “false” and as “coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.” Beyoncé, meanwhile, has yet to clarify her own stance toward Lizzo following the concert shoutout.

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