Rita Ora Apologizes For “Girls”

Last week, Rita Ora released the pop posse cut “Girls,” which featured Cardi B, Charli XCX, and Bebe Rexha singing about how sometimes they want to kiss girls. Ora hyped up the song in interviews as this generation’s “Lady Marmalade,” and said it was modeled after one of her favorite songs, Katy Perry’s 2008 hit “I Kissed A Girl.”

The song faced its fair share of criticism upon release, most notably and eloquently from openly gay pop singer Hayley Kiyoko, who called the song “downright tone-deaf” and cited the “lack of consideration behind these lyrics” that imply kissing girls is a thing that other girls only do when they’re drunk. (“Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls/ Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls,” goes the chorus.)

Today, Ora has released a statement apologizing for “Girls” and the way it was perceived. “I am sorry how I expressed myself in my song has hurt anyone,” she wrote. “I would never intentionally cause harm to other LGBTQ+ people or anyone.”

She also says that the song “was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life,” that experience being that she has “had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life.”

Here’s the full statement: