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Responding to Criticisms, Rita Ora Apologizes for 'Girls': I've had Relations with Men & Women

Tuesday May 15, 2018

Rita Ora took to Twitter Monday to respond to criticisms from queer singers and others about her new song "Girls," which some slammed as queer-baiting and exploiting bisexuality.

The controversy started last week when singer Hayley Kiyoko, who has been dubbed "Lesbian Jesus," tweeted a note criticizing the song, calling it "tone deaf" and saying the lyrics "do more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community."

In "Girls," which also features Charli XCX; Cardi B and Bebe Rexha, Ora sings, "Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girl / Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls."

Singer Kehlani, who recently came out as queer, also took aim at the song.

Ora responded to the criticisms in her own note on Twitter, apologizing to those offended but also revealed she's had relationships with men and women.

"'Girls' was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life," Ora wrote. "I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life... I am sorry how I expressed myself in my song has hurt anyone."

Before sharing her note, Ora opened up about her sexuality during an interview with People magazine ahead of the release of "Girls." After admitting the song was partly inspired by Katy Perry's debut single "I Kissed a Girl," Ora was asked if she is bisexual or sexually fluid.

"If people look at it like that, it's very narrow-minded, and I don't think that's what this record is," she said. "I don't think that that even matters."

Charli XCX, who is currently touring with Taylor Swift, has not responded to the criticisms. Neither has Rexha or Cardi B.

Listen to "Girls Below."


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