Metro Weekly

Lizzo Protests Mid-Concert In Tennessee With ‘Drag Race’ Alums

Defying Tennessee law, Lizzo brought 20 drag queens to the stage during her Knoxville show on Friday in a glorious protest.

Lizzo with drag queens -- Photo via
Lizzo with drag queens — Photo via

Lizzo did not hold back during her recent performance in Tennessee, and as is common for the Grammy and Emmy-winning superstar, she didn’t mince her words either.

The singer and rapper used her concert to protest a recent law restricting drag shows in the state she was performing in.

Lizzo brought 20 drag queens to the stage during her Knoxville show on Friday, April 21. The lineup included some of the most popular stars in the business, including some of the most notable RuPaul’s Drag Race champions and fan favorites, such as Aquaria, Kandy Muse, Asia O’Hara, and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo.

Despite being advised to cancel her shows in Tennessee by fans on social media, Lizzo felt that the state’s people were the ones who needed to hear her message the most.

She used her performance as an opportunity to create a “safe space” to celebrate drag entertainers and our differences. Lizzo told the audience, “In light of recent and tragic events and current events, I was told by people on the internet, ‘Cancel your shows in Tennessee,’ ‘Don’t go to Tennessee.’ Their reason was valid, but why would I not come to the people who need to hear this message the most?”

Following the show, Lizzo took to Instagram to thank the queens for joining her, calling them all out individually for their time and work. She wrote, “Thank you to these beautiful drag queens for showing their pride in Tennessee.”

On Twitter, she added, “You have my heart Knoxville. Thank you for sharing a safe space with me.”

Tennessee passed a law in February that bans “adult cabaret” in public or in front of minors, which Lizzo was protesting against.

However, a federal judge blocked the law in April, just hours before it was scheduled to go into effect, even though Republican Gov. Bill Lee had already signed it.

Lizzo’s Knoxville show was part of the second leg of her The Special 2our, which features many new concerts, which were added due to popular demand.

The trek began in 2022 and is meant to promote her most recent album, Special. The album brought her to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and produced the Record of the Year Grammy-winning, Hot 100-topping single “About Damn Time.”

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