What Religion Is Lizzo?

Lizzo is an American singer, rapper, and songwriter who has risen to fame in recent years. She is known for promoting body positivity and self-love through her music. But what does Lizzo believe spiritually?

What religion does this chart-topping artist associate with? This article will explore Lizzo’s religious background and beliefs.

Lizzo’s Early Life and Upbringing

Melissa Jefferson, known professionally as Lizzo, was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1988. She was raised in a Christian household and her family attended church regularly. In interviews, Lizzo has spoken about growing up in the church and singing gospel music from a young age.

Lizzo’s Childhood Church

Lizzo’s family attended the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Detroit. This is a Protestant Christian church that is part of the National Baptist Convention. The church has a predominantly African-American congregation.

As a child, Lizzo sang in the gospel choir at Pilgrim Rest. She has credited the choir director as one of the major influences on her vocal abilities.

Impact of Church on Lizzo’s Music

The experience of singing gospel music in the church choir heavily influenced Lizzo’s musical style.

The positive lyrics, messages of self-love, and high-energy singing that characterize her songs today all have origins in the gospel tradition. Lizzo has brought these gospel-inspired elements into pop, rap, and R&B genres.

Lizzo’s Current Religious Views

As an adult, Lizzo no longer identifies as religious. She has stated in interviews that she is not affiliated with any organized religion. However, the values and worldview she gained from her religious upbringing continue to shape her music and her advocacy for inclusiveness.

Departure from Organized Religion

In her late teens and early twenties, Lizzo stopped regularly attending church services. This coincided with her moving away from home to pursue music professionally.

Lizzo has not provided a clear explanation for her departure from organized Christianity. However, her lyrics frequently question and rebel against traditional religious morality.

Retaining Christian Values

Though she does not identify as religious today, Lizzo retains many values from her Christian upbringing. She promotes messages of universal dignity, self-worth, and treating others with kindness.

These align with Christian ethical principles. Lizzo attributes these values to her religious background, even as she distances herself from institutional religion.

Critiques of Religion in Lizzo’s Music

While she upholds some Christian values, Lizzo also overtly critiques organized religion in several of her songs. For example, her song “Heaven Help Me” calls out religious hypocrisy and judgement.

In “Jerome,” she sings “I don’t need religion, just need some healing.” Lizzo implies religion has sometimes been a source of pain and disempowerment.

How Lizzo’s Views Align with Trends

Lizzo’s movement away from organized religion to a more personalized spirituality mirrors larger trends in American religious life. Fewer adults, especially young people, identify with traditional religions today compared to past generations. At the same time, many still uphold religious values.

Decline of Religious Affiliation

Surveys show a dramatic rise in the number of Americans who do not identify with any religion. As of 2021, 30% of adults considered themselves religiously “unaffiliated.” This has increased from only 17% in 2009. Young adults are especially likely to be religious “nones.”

Growth of “Spiritual but Not Religious”

While formal religious affiliation is down, many Americans still consider themselves “spiritual but not religious.” A Pew study found that 72% of religiously unaffiliated Americans still believe in a higher power or spiritual force. Like Lizzo, they maintain religious or spiritual inclinations outside of organized contexts.

Upholding Values over Doctrine

For Americans today, upholding Christian or spiritual values matters more than strictly adhering to religious doctrine and institutions. Lizzo represents this in how she detached from the church but retained Gospel-inspired ethics like self-love. Her outlook resonates with religious trends in the U.S.

Elements of Major Religions in Lizzo’s Music

While Lizzo does not currently identify with any religion, her music contains influences from multiple spiritual traditions beyond Christianity. By blending elements of different faiths, she creates an inclusive spiritual space in her songs.

Christian Themes

The Christian values of loving others and oneself which Lizzo promotes are central to her music. Songs like “Good as Hell” directly reference her church choir upbringing. Her lyrics about finding inner strength through hardship also parallel Christian themes of resilience through faith.

Buddhist Concepts

Some of Lizzo’s lyrics about focusing on the present and avoiding negative attachments align with Buddhist teachings. She advocates self-acceptance rather than trying to meet unrealistic external standards. This mirrors the Buddhist emphasis on letting go of ego and desire.

Goddess Imagery

Lizzo embraces goddess imagery from multiple religions in her songs and performances. For example, her song “Soulmate” references spiritual mythology through lyrics like “I’m a prophet, I’m a goddess, I’m a queen.” She incorporates figures like Venus and Medusa in her visual content.

Secular Humanism

Lizzo’s version of spirituality centers humanity. She promotes human needs like self-love and empowerment over abstract religious doctrine.

This emphasis on human values without theology aligns with a secular humanist philosophy. It focuses on ethics and experience rather than the supernatural.

Key Takeaways on Lizzo’s Faith

In summary, here are some of the key points to understand about Lizzo’s relationship with religion:

  • She was raised attending a Christian church and sang gospel music there as a child. This hugely impacted her vocal and musical style.
  • As an adult, Lizzo detached from organized religion but retains many Christian values of self-acceptance and kindness which inspire her music.
  • She critiques aspects of religious institutions through lyrics that call out hypocrisy and rejection.
  • Like many young Americans, Lizzo considers herself spiritual but not religious and does not identify with any particular faith.
  • Her music blends influences from Christianity, Buddhism, goddess worship, and secular humanism to create an inclusive spiritual vision.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while Lizzo was raised in the church, she now represents a growing trend of “spiritual but not religious” among Americans. She upholds some Christian principles related to dignity and love but distances herself from religious institutions which she also critiques.

Lizzo draws from diverse spiritual traditions to build a message of empowerment. Ultimately, religion provides context for understanding her music, but does not define her identity today. She uses spirituality to affirm all people rather than impose doctrine. This inclusive approach resonates powerfully with fans across backgrounds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What church did Lizzo attend growing up?

Lizzo and her family attended the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church when she was a child. This is a Protestant Christian church in Detroit that is part of the National Baptist denomination.

What impact did the church have on Lizzo’s music career?

Singing gospel music in her church choir heavily influenced Lizzo’s vocal abilities and energetic performance style. The positive messaging also shaped the themes of self-love and self-acceptance that she promotes through her music.

Does Lizzo currently identify with any religion?

No, as an adult Lizzo no longer identifies with any organized religion. She considers herself spiritual but not religious.

What critiques does Lizzo make of religion?

In some songs, Lizzo critiques religious hypocrisy, judgement, and the way religion has been used to make people feel guilty or disempowered. She implies religion has sometimes been harmful.

What spiritual traditions influence Lizzo besides Christianity?

Lizzo draws from influences across spiritual backgrounds. Her music incorporates elements of Buddhism, goddess worship, and secular humanism along with her Christian roots.

How does Lizzo’s relationship with religion reflect larger trends?

Like many young Americans today, Lizzo moved away from organized religion as an adult but retains some religious values. This mirrors the rise of “spiritual but not religious” and religiously unaffiliated Americans.

References

Hill, Crystal. “Lizzo Opens up About Religious Upbringing: ‘I Grew up in the Church'”. AmoMama. November 26, 2019. https://www.amomama.com/222852-lizzo-opens-up-about-religious-upbringing-i.html

Lewis, Isabella and Matt Trammell. “Lizzo on Fans, Furries, and Her Religion: ‘I Don’t Belong to Any One Thing'”. Teen Vogue. August 26, 2022. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/lizzo-interview-special-album-religion

Lynch, Joe. “Lizzo Opens Up About ‘Life Hurdles’ & Embracing Inner Beauty in Moving Speech”. Billboard. December 11, 2019. https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/lizzo-billboard-women-in-music-inspirational-speech-8547569/

Masci, David and Gregory A. Smith. “5 facts about the religious lives of African Americans”. Pew Research Center. February 7, 2018. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/02/07/5-facts-about-religious-lives-of-african-americans/

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