Charli XCX has apologised for offending fans with her bisexual anthem Girls, insisting she wants to learn from the controversy.
The Boys hitmaker teamed up with Rita Ora, Cardi B, and Bebe Rexha for the tune, which features the chorus lyrics, "Sometimes I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls/Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls girls."
Following the release of the track, fans and fellow artists, including pop singer Hayley Kiyoko and Kehlani, criticised the song and Ora was quick to apologise, while Cardi B attempted to explain the idea behind the tune. And now Charli is speaking out about the controversy, insisting she wants to continue the conversation in a positive manner.
"I think the conversation and dialogue around this song is really important," she tells Rolling Stone. "I try so hard to be as involved with the LGBTQ community as possible. Without that community, my career would not really be anything..."
The 25-year-old also explains Rita, who has since revealed she has had relationships with both men and women, simply wanted to talk about her experiences in the song.
"I know from when Rita invited me to be a part of the song, this song was about a specific experience that she had with a woman," she continues. "I know that Rita's had extremely meaningful relationships with both men and women. She really does have every right to tell her story because she's not doing it from an exploitative viewpoint: she's been with women and had relationships with women. She's had relationships with men too. I don't understand why her story is less valid than anybody else's."
And she insists she felt comfortable to be featured on the track because it was coming from a genuine place.
"I've known Rita for a very long time in this particular journey and in this particular story in her life," she says. "I would never want to take anyone's space in pop music, but Rita is somebody I've known for a very long time who has had queer experiences and (I felt) that perhaps this is a safe space for me to be on this record. I apologise to any people I've offended by that."