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Lizzo’s Truth Hurts teaches us a powerful lesson about persistence

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Christobel Hastings
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Lizzo’s winning streak is going stronger than ever with her first number one for her empowering anthem “Truth Hurts”. And, true to form, the singer took the momentous occasion to share a powerful message of persistence with her fans. 

After winning the 2019 VMAs with an empowering medley of her biggest hits and attracting the support of none other than music legend Beyoncé at the Made In America festival, it’s fair to say that Lizzo is on top of the world right now. And thanks to her infectious music, rousing pep talks, and feel-good energy, our lives are all the happier, too.

Yesterday, Lizzo’s winning streak continued as the breakout artist earned her first-ever number one spot on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 record chart with her empowering single “Truth Hurts”. And because Lizzo always knows how to keep it real, she penned a moving tribute dedicating her win to her fans.

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In the latest example of her wholly refreshing attitude to stardom, the musician took to Instagram to celebrate her chart-topping hit, declaring the moment as a victory for anyone who has ever been marginalised for their identity. 

“WE’RE NUMBER 1,” she captioned a screenshot of the Billboard chart. “THIS IS A W FOR ALL OF US. ANYBODY WHO EVER FELT LIKE THEY VOICE WASN’T HEARD. ANYBODY WHO FELT LIKE THEY WEREN’T GOOD ENOUGH. YOU ARE. WE ARE. CHAMPIONS. I LOVE YALL 3 MUCH. LIZZBIANS UNITE”.

The road to her first No.1 wasn’t plain sailing, though. In a candid interview with People earlier in the year, the singer admitted that she hadn’t always felt so confident about her career in the music industry, and had to dig deep to find the strength to persist against the odds.

“The day I released ‘Truth Hurts’ was probably one of the darkest days I’ve had ever in my career. I remember thinking, ‘If I quit music now, nobody would notice. This is my best song ever, and nobody cares,’” Lizzo recalls. “I was like, ‘F— it, I’m done.’ And a lot of people rallied; my producer, my publicist and my family, they were like, ‘Just keep going because this is the darkest recalled the dawn.’”

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Lizzo performing at the MTV Video Music Awards in August

 A reversal of fortunes was just around the corner though, as the single was then used in Netflix rom-com Someone Great starring Gina Rodriguez, allowing the song to reach a new audience.

“Who would have thunk?” she continued. “What a moment in a movie can do for an artist is crazy. I had everything else: the hard work, the good music, touring - but then there’s that extra-special magic that nobody really knows what it is that can really change your life.”

“Now the song that made me want to quit is the song that everyone’s falling in love with me for, which is such a testament to journeys: Your darkest day turns into your brightest triumph.”

While none of us want to imagine a world without Lizzo and her joyous music, her honesty reminds us that that even the most successful stars we admire on our Instagram feeds have down days when they feel like throwing in the towel. But if we persist through our moments of darkness, as Lizzo proves, the rewards can be all the sweeter.

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.