Lizzo Delivers A TED Talk On The Black History Of Twerking

The “Rumors” singer breaks down the popular modern dance’s lineage.

R&B/Pop songstress Lizzo became a mainstream star thanks to songs like “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell.” Lizzo also made headlines for twerking in an NSFW outfit at an NBA game in 2019.

Confronting body issues is a major part of Lizzo’s music and brand. The 33-year-old entertainer took her thoughts on the subject to another arena by taking part in a TED Talk.

The 13-minute speech is titled “Lizzo: The Black history of twerking — and how it taught me self-love.” Lizzo explained how twerking empowered her to love her own body.

“I used to hate my a##, believe it or not. I have my father’s shape and my mother’s thighs, so it’s big and long. I used to think that only a#### like J.Lo’s or Beyoncé’s could be famous. I never thought that could happen to me,” said Lizzo.

The Cuz I Love You album creator continued, “I always felt like my body type wasn’t the right one or the desirable one growing up because I grew up in an era where having a big ass wasn’t mainstream.”

“Black People Carried The Origins Of This Dance Through Our DNA”

Apparently, a popular modern dance with roots in West African culture assisted Lizzo in being more accepting of herself. She spoke about her journey to achieving higher self-esteem with the TED Talk audience.

“Rihanna gave my ass a standing ovation. Yes, my booty – my least favorite part of my body. How did this happen? Twerking!” said Lizzo with a laugh. “Through the movement of twerking I discovered my ass is my greatest asset.”

Lizzo also traced the lineage of twerking from the Ivory Coast’s Mapouka dance to Josephine Baker’s Banana Dance to Beyoncé’s “Uh Oh” dance. The Grammmy winner added, “Black people carried the origins of this dance through our DNA, through our blood, through our bones. We made twerking the global cultural phenomenon it became today.”

In August, Lizzo showed off her twerking skills once again in the music video for “Rumors.” The single features a guest verse by Hip Hop superstar Cardi B. “Rumors” premiered at #4 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart, giving Lizzo the highest-debuting song of her career.