Rita Ora responds to Girls backlash


Rita Ora has hit back at criticism of her song 'Girls'.

The 27-year-old singer was heavily criticised for the steamy track, with Hayley Kiyoko - who is open about her own sexuality, and has the nickname 'Lesbian Jesus' - calling it "tone deaf" as the lyrics include references to drunkenly kissing other women.

But Rita - who previously revealed she has been in relationships with men and women - told Billboard magazine: "This song is about liberation and freedom and empowerment and celebrating who you are.

"I think the narrative is shifting already. There's not one way to come out."

Rita has also been defended by other musicians and friends, including Years and Years singer Olly Alexander, who said she was "forced to come out".

He recently shared: "We can't police the way people express their sexuality.

"I think the whole situation was a bit grim because it feels like Rita was forced to come out. Which I think was quite sad and I felt sorry for her."

Rita has thanked people for their support, and added that she has tried to block out the "noise" from her critics.

She explained: "I just haven't listened to the noise as much. I have been grateful for the support and for the people who have spoken out about it, especially the Years and Years boys.

"And all of my friends, especially the ones in the LGBTQ community who have great big followings and have been doing amazing things for organisations, their support has kept me happy and has kept my spirits up."

Rita added that she was inspired after feeling "enclosed and introverted" in her two years without making music, and knew people would relate to the idea of "feeling under pressure".

She explained: "I wanted to put it out there because it was my truth and I knew that it was something that a lot of my fans were going through - and are still going through.

"There are so many kids and people out there who are afraid to share their sexuality simply because of what their family may think. I did it for all of them."