Lily Allen Performs At G-A-Y

When she made her big return late last year with her possibly-feminist/possibly-fetishistic “Hard Out Here” video, Lily Allen immediately found herself at the center of internet controversy, defending her video almost as soon as it went up online. More recently, she found herself agreeing with a fan on Twitter who’d called her new singles “rubbish.” And this past weekend, Allen found herself once again in the crosshairs, this time for the unforgivable cultural crime of mocking Beyoncé.

After namechecking Bey on her new single “Sheezus,” Allen dressed up as Beyoncé and lip-synced “Drunk In Love” during a recent appearance at London’s G-A-Y. As impersonations go, it appeared to be pretty spot-on and affectionate, at least judging by this fan-made video:

But as Pitchfork reports, plenty of people online assumed she was making fun of Beyoncé. Allen responded in a series of tweets:

Only one person can tell you what my intentions are, and that would be me. Each time I play GAY I do a cover in drag. 1st time I did Dorothy, last time Britney, thus tone Queen Bey. Why do people jump to conclusions? I wasn’t mocking Beyoncé , like I wasn’t dissing anyone on #SHEEZUS , this is so fucking boring .

She also responded to a tweet from ?uestlove, who, on Twitter, had mockingly called Allen “our cultural critic” and rhetorically wondered, “she’ll soon be op-ed’ing for @EBONYMag no?” Allen’s response: “I think you’re being unfair. I love her and I love my fans who loved this performance, I wasn’t critiquing , at all.”

As someone who thought the “Hard Out Here” video was out-of-touch and dumb and who hasn’t much liked Allen’s recent songs, this latest pile-on seems a bit excessive and ridiculous, and I honestly can’t see what she was doing wrong. But go ahead and render your verdict in the comments.

[Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images.]

Comments (17)
  1. ?uestlove can be a real ass sometimes. He normally seems good humored but needs to vet his tweets when he gets too righteous.

    • dude is a hypocrite. He was crying how sarah palin made racial remarks and then proceeds to make fun of the japanese in the same manner.

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  3. There’s definitely a backlash in effect. I don’t think she deserves it in this instance, but as a whole her persona is kind of grating and when she doesn’t have the music to back it up (and i’ts been a long time since she has) it’s understandable that people would just want her to go away.

  4. All drama aside, her new stuff is great. Especially because her second album was a bit of a slump compared to the knockout debut.

  5. “Hard Out Here (For a White Girl Who Speaks Incisively But Gets Misconstrued By the Media)”

  6. You go girl. For the record, Sheezus was fantastic.

  7. Trust me… she’s got such good exposure right now, and there is so much love out there for her new tracks that she will do just fine.

  8. I hear Lord Balon Greyjoy is her dad.

  9. She’s having fun, not poking fun. Some people need to get a life and chill the eff out.

  10. For whatever reason people are very protective of Beyonce. You never hear a discouraging word about her. Her image control operation is fierce. She’s a very public figure, and though I don’t follow these things too closely, I can’t recall anyone ever mocking or parodying her in a way that makes her look foolish. Jay-Z was also pretty hands-off until that recent Daily Show sketch that mocked him for having no street cred anymore. It’s almost like you are not allowed to make fun of the homecoming king and queen. Bow down to Beyonce’s fabulousness, or suffer the consequences!

  11. I think it’s kinda funny that she set out with this Sheezus campaign with a feminist message and then went on to get a backlash for every single aspect of the campaign so far…

    Hard Out Here – ‘The video is racist!’
    Air Balloon promo Interview – ‘She’s anti-feminist!’ (she was clearly misquoted)
    Our Time – ‘Fight scene’ is deemed inappropriate for daytime viewing
    Sheezus – ‘Why is slagging off other female artists?!’ (they clearly missed the point)
    G-A-Y Performance – ‘HOW DARE SHE MOCK QUEEN B!!!’

    It’s like she can’t win. Although, this media shitstorm serves the message of ‘Hard Out Here’ perfectly, so if she utilizes this and stops apologizing and defending her when she really doesn’t need to, this could work in her favor.

  12. Can’t catch a break? That she had a career in the first place is a “break”. That she manages to still make headlines on sites like this is a “break”. Listen, this happens to (almost) all purveyors of feather-light pop candy. This is the woman who was too childish to collaborate with Damon Albarn. A slow death is unnecessary, just put her down already so you can focus on her equally useless successors.

    I mean, CHRIST Stereogum, the new Gruff Rhys album is streaming, and this is the shit you choose to post? I understand your determination to become the Rolling Stone for hipster dipshits, but that magazine’s decline took decades, not months! Jesus wept.

  13. For fuck’s sake…

  14. Lily Allen’s awesome. One of my favorite artists. I hope all this internet noise doesn’t steer her from continuing. She might need to take a tip from Kanye and disengage from all this and just make the rad music.

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