Lizzo responded to Tennessee’s drag show ban by inviting drag queens to join her at her Knoxville concert. In an act of defiance, she welcomed Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, Asia O’Hara and Kandy Muse from RuPaul’s Drag Race on stage to perform on Friday.

The singer and rapper shared a video of the event on Instagram with her 13.4 million followers. The 34-year-old music artist is an outspoken ally of the LGBT community and addressed the piece of legislation in another video, telling fans that she was told to not perform in Tennessee.


“But why would I not come to the people who need to hear this message the most, the people who need to feel this release the most?” Lizzo asked. She continued, saying that she wanted to create a safe space in Tennessee where drag entertainers and people from all different backgrounds could be celebrated.


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Just last month, Tenessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed a bill banning “adult cabaret” artists from performing in public or in front of children. State Senator Jack Johnson said that the bill was not meant to target drag performers or transgender people. It instead “puts age restrictions in place to ensure that children are not present at sexually explicit performances.”

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Parker temporarily delayed the law a day before it was set to be enforced, stating that an evaluation must be completed to determine whether the ban is unconstitutional. Parker wrote that the statute is “vague and overly-broad” and added that Tennessee has not provided a “compelling government interest” over why it should regulate drag performances. The block expires on May 26.

Tennessee is the first state to pass anti-drag legislation. However, several bills are currently being made in GOP-led state legislatures.

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