Lizzo made history as BottleRock Napa Valley festival’s first Black woman headliner. Unfortunately, what should’ve been a joyous moment was marred by unkind signs awaiting the singer as she arrived at the event’s venue. Before introducing her chart-topping fourth studio album, “Special,” the “Truth Hurts” singer had some words for the unfriendly reception.

“I saw some signs that were very unfriendly towards people like me,” Lizzo told fans on Saturday at the Jam Cellars Stage for her headlining set. “I saw signs talking about how they want to cancel people like me. Silence people like me. Choke people like me. And they right across the street. So we gonna sing this one more time so they can hear it because maybe they haven’t heard it in a long time.”

Ignoring the Signs

Although Lizzo didn’t confirm what the signs read according to the San Francisco Chronicle some stated, “Choke the Woke” and “Cancel Cancel Culture.” In true Lizzo fashion, she didn’t allow the haters to stop her from giving a high-energy performance. She still brought all the good vibes to the stage where she celebrated body positivity and freedom of self-expression. In addition, throughout her performance, she assured her fans that “this is a safe space.” The Grammy winner even paused her set for a meditation breathing exercise. At one point, she draped the LGBTQIA+ flag over herself and declared, “Drag is not a crime!”

Lizzo has come a long way since her breakthrough album, “Cuz I Love You,” back in 2019, which earned her eight Grammy nominations and three wins. She could do no wrong while on stage at BottleRock with her fierce ensemble all-female band, three backing vocalists, and the dynamic nine-member dance troupe, the Big Grrrls. Other artists to hit the stage at the sold-out event included Leon Bridges, Duran Duran, and Nile Rodger and Chic.