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American singer Lizzo has said she “spent years being ashamed” as she spoke about the work it took for her to “feel worthy of being in this place”.
The 34-year-old Grammy winner released her highly anticipated fourth studio album Special on July 15 and, appearing as the cover star for the September edition of Elle UK, said she wanted to make a record that coming out of lockdown people could use as a “soundtrack to survive”.
She told the magazine: “I spent years being ashamed. It took a lot of work for me to feel worthy of being in this place. To feel worthy of being a force to be reckoned with.”
The tracks on the new album include songs called Special and 2 Be Loved (Am I Ready), alongside previously released hit singles About Damn Time and Grrrls.
The singer previously announced she was releasing a new version of Grrrls with a “lyric change” after receiving backlash over the use of an ableist slur within the original track.
She said of recording the album during the 2020 lockdown: “It was hard for me to find meaning, being an entertainer, while people were dying at a high rate.
“I had to remember, when we come out of lockdown, people are going to be coming out of a depression. And the end of lockdown does not signify the end of their mental-health struggles.
“So I wanted to make music that people can use as a soundtrack to survive. That was the driver for this album.
“All of these incredible songs are giving people the language to express themselves and to have a release after everything they’ve experienced.”
The magazine cover shows the singer in tightly-wrapped yellow tape with fashion house Balenciaga’s name printed across it in black lettering.
Lizzo, who is known for promoting body positivity and self-love in her music, also spoke about her relationship with social media, saying she thinks it is “very healthy”.
She explained: “I think I have a very healthy relationship with the way that I view the digital world.
“I was born before it was everywhere you go, before it was the official news source, and before it was an obligatory or a necessity in your career.
“I grew up right before it was able to harass you in schools and get you cyberbullied in class. I just missed that mark.”
The singer, who has nearly 13 million followers on Instagram and nearly 27 million followers on TikTok, added: “I don’t need social media, social media needs me. Social media literally needs people to function.
“I don’t need to go on the internet and feel better about stuff anymore. I have a therapist. I have best friends. I have an amazing team around me who I can talk to. I got love.”
The September issue of Elle UK is on sale from July 28.