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Lizzo Condemns Institutional Racism During Global Citizen Live Performance: 'It's Time to Make a Change'

·3-min read
Lizzo performs onstage during Global Citizen Live, New York on September 25, 2021 in New York City.
Lizzo performs onstage during Global Citizen Live, New York on September 25, 2021 in New York City.

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Lizzo had an important message for the crowd during her performance at Global Citizen Live on Saturday evening.

Dressed in a hot pink catsuit, the 33-year-old singer hit the stage in New York City's Central Park to perform a series of her biggest songs, including "Good as Hell," "Truth Hurts" and "Juice."

During her set, the Grammy winner also took a moment to address the audience and condemn institutional racism in the U.S. and across the world.

"Thank you so much to Global Citizen for having me," she began. "You know, big Black girl from Detroit by way of Houston, Texas, doing big ass things with my life. I'm just so grateful every time I can step on the stage and sing for y'all. Thank you so much."

RELATED: Elton John Calls for 'Love and Solidarity' During Global Citizen Live Performance in Paris

"And now I'm a rich bitch, that's exciting, that's never happened," she continued. "I'll be like, 'What kind of rich bitch do I want to be?' And I decided I want to be a philanthropist. I want to give back. Why would God give me so much if I can't give it back? So thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to give back."

For more on the Global Citizen Live 2021 festival and other top stories, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

The music superstar went on to mention that the location of the event was previously Seneca Village, a predominantly African American community that existed in the mid-19th century. According to the National Park Service, residents were forcibly removed in 1857 and the neighborhood was subsequently demolished to develop Central Park.

Lizzo performs at 2021 Global Citizen Live: New York on September 25, 2021 in New York City.
Lizzo performs at 2021 Global Citizen Live: New York on September 25, 2021 in New York City.

Gotham/WireImage

"As we talk about climate change and making the world a better place and solving homelessness, we also have to talk about the institutionalized racism that happens in this country all the time," Lizzo said.

"And if we don't talk about our history constructively, how can we build a better future?" she added. "It's time to talk about things, and it's time to make a change. And it starts within. You got to better to yourself, so you can be better to others."

RELATED: Lizzo Tearfully Calls Out 'Fatphobic' and 'Racist' Comments After the Debut of 'Rumors' Video

In addition to Lizzo, the Global Citizen Live event features performances from Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Coldplay, Shawn Mendes and various others.

The 24-hour broadcast from cities around the world is calling on G7 countries and the European Union to share at least 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses with those most in need and support calls for a waiver on COVID-19 vaccine intellectual property rights. The campaign is also calling on vaccine providers to share mRNA technology with the new World Health Organization-backed transfer hub based in South Africa.

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Last month, Lizzo tearfully responded to "hurtful" comments she received on social media following the release of her song "Rumors" with Cardi B.

"It's fatphobic, it's racist, and it's hurtful," she said in an Instagram Live video. "What I won't accept is y'all doing this to Black women over and over and over again, especially us big Black girls. When we don't fit into the box that you want to put us in, you just unleash hatred onto us. It's not cool. I'm doing this s--- for the big Black women in the future who just want to live their lives without being scrutinized or put into boxes."

She also tweeted out words of encouragement to others to love themselves.

"Loving yourself in a world that don't love u back takes an incredible amount of self awareness & a bulls--- detector that can see through ass backwards societal standards," she wrote. "If u managed to love yourself today I'm proud of u. If u haven't, I'm still proud of u. This s---s hard."

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