Lizzo is set to be honored with the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award from the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) this week, despite recent allegations against her from her former dancers.
The 2023 gala goes down on Thursday (September 21), where the “Rumors” singer will be honored for her philanthropic work and commitment to social justice.
The body positivity advocate has dedicated her free time to giving back to different communities regarding scholarship, social justice, and music. Throughout her career, Lizzo has raised and donated over half a million dollars to various programs and organizations.
In a statement, Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, co-founder/chair Black Music Action Coalition, said: “The Black Music Action Coalition is proud to honor Lizzo and Sylvia Rhone at this year’s Gala, as they join a group of trailblazers who have made immense impact within the music industry and beyond. We applaud their dedication to pushing boundaries, amplifying Black voices and crashing through those glass ceilings creating space for Black Women.”
Among her philanthropic efforts since her rise to fame over the last four years, Lizzo donated $1million to Planned Parenthood and the National Network of Abortion Funds after Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022. She has also been an avid supporter of Juneteenth organizations, annually giving back half a million dollars to programs such as the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Black Girls Smile, Sphinx Music, University of Houston, Save Our Sisters United and Community Change.
In 2020, Lizzo launched Lizzolovesyou.com, where visitors have access to information, action items and ways to donate in support of marginalized communities and causes. And through her Sasha Be Flooting Music Scholarship, valued at $50,000, Lizzo has also made significant contributions to her alma mater, the University of Houston.
Despite her good deeds, Lizzo has been on the receiving end of some nasty backlash as of late after some of her ex-dancers filed a lawsuit against her, but she’s now planning on countersuing her accusers.
Last month, the “About Damn Time” hitmaker’s attorney, Marty Singer, issued a statement to TMZ, telling the outlet that Lizzo plans on suing her backup dancers and that newly surfaced photos of her accusers “happily carousing” and “gleefully reveling” backstage with nude performers in Paris should help her case.
Lizzo, her production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, and her dance captain, Shirlene Quigley were all sued by three former dancers — Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez — who alleged that the singer weight-shamed and sexually harassed them.
In the suit, obtained by Variety, Lizzo is accused of pressuring Davis into touching a nude performer at an Amsterdam club in February, 2023.
“The main event of the night was Bananaenbar, where patrons are allowed to interact with completely nude performers,” the suit reads. “Lizzo began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the vaginas of the performers.
“Lizzo then turned her attention to Ms. Davis and began pressuring Ms. Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women performing in the club. Lizzo began leading a chant goading Ms. Davis. Ms. Davis said three times, loud enough for all to hear, ‘I’m good,’ expressing her desire not to touch the performer.”
However, Singer believes the newly surfaced Paris photos, which were taken on March 5 — a month after the alleged Amsterdam club incident — will help Lizzo’s case.
According to TMZ, Lizzo’s accusers have also claimed they were essentially forced to go to the Paris topless show, but her attorney said this claim contradicts the photos as they are seen “happily cavorting backstage” with the topless entertainers.
In addition to the photos, one month after the Paris topless club visit, Lizzo accuser Arianna Davis was seen “gushing” over the singer in an audition tape.
“It’s been so amazing and such a beautiful journey,” Davis said in the clip. “I look up to her so much. I just want to follow in her footsteps, and I just want to share that with the Queen Lizzo herself.”
According to Lizzo’s attorney, after the video was first shared by TMZ, Davis “tried to explain away her glowing comments about Lizzo by claiming the ‘bulk’ of her accusations were based on things that happened later.”
But Singer said “that excuse is completely contradicted by the facts” including the newly surfaced photos.
Responding to the photos and Singer’s claims, Neama Rahmani, the attorney for Lizzo’s accusers, told TMZ the dancers were showing face in order to keep their jobs.
“They had bills to pay just like everyone else but they finally had enough of the abuse,” she said. “We stand by every claim in the lawsuit and look forward to trial.”