Here’s How Lizzo Took A Coward’s Voicemail Breakup And Turned It Into A Number One Song
Not long before Lizzo took a DNA test that revealed she was in fact, 100 percent that b*tch, sis left her heartbroken like the rest of us mortals. Turns out that shitty ex-boyfriends happen even to the best of us.
In case you missed it, Lizzo got personal with Billboard and revealed that the song actually came from a bad breakup. The singer-rapper-flutist disclosed that “Truth Hurts” —an anthem against good-for-nothing men—came from heartbreak and tears; “That’s how hit records are made. They’re made from the heart. They’re made from tears. They’re made from fears. And they’re made from happy endings.”
Lizzo went into the studio after receiving an upsetting voicemail and didn’t even want to be there.
The singer told Billboard that when she went into the studio to record, two years ago, she had just been dumped…over the phone, and didn’t even want to be there. “I was so upset and depressed and sad,” she remembers. The singer went on to retell how she had just received a voicemail from a guy telling her not to call him anymore because he was getting back together with his ex. Gives more meaning to the words “Don’t text me, tell it straight to my face,” right?
As Lizzo was telling producer Ricky Reed all about the Minnesota Vikings player in her DMs and having to wash her ex out of her hair, she noticed as she was talking, that Reed was writing. When she asked what he was doing, he replied, “I hope you know you just wrote a song.” Everything fell into place from there.
She kept coming up with lyrics about the person who hurt her, “I don’t know what type of magical honey was in my throat when I woke up that morning, but shit!”
She admits she “hated” the beat at the beginning, which was a sample from an artist named Tele. But once Reed added drums, Lizzo quickly changed her mind. The lyrics began to flow, “I literally kind of went in the booth and laid down everything, verbatim, that I had said about this person who had hurt me,” she said. Lizzo even compared it to playing tag, saying that she kept coming up with lyrics that she had to run back and forth into the booth to record. “I was like, ‘fuck, everything that’s coming out of my mouth is the song today. I don’t know what type of magical honey was in my throat when I woke up that morning, but shit!’”
Good thing she went into the studio that day, because what started out as a shitty day, quickly turned into a life-changing moment. “We put the hoe out two years ago, and it did good, a lot of people liked it,” she said. “… But two years later, they put that shit in a Netflix movie [Something Great]. Now the whole world found it. It’s a hit record, baby.”
The song became one of the best summer songs of 2019 after being included in the Netflix film “Someone Great.”
The Hot 100 No. 1 song mixes big diva vocals with relatable stream-of-consciousness lyrics about womanhood, self-worth, and even the mundane. After the song’s initial release in September 2017, it’s had a massive revival to become one of the best summer songs of summer 2019 after being included in the Netflix film “Someone Great“ in a memorable scene featuring stars Gina Rodriguez and DeWanda Wise.
“I think Lizzo, and especially with all the new stuff that’s coming out, is so much about self-love and empowerment and being a woman and being comfortable in your own skin and being comfortable being the baddest bitch you can be,” said “Something Great” writer-director, Jennifer Robinson, to Thrillist about the song inclusion in the film. “All three of these women are on different journeys, and they are each their own bad bitch.”
After Lizzo’s VMA performance, “Truth Hurts” rose to No. 1 the Hot 100.
Truth Hurts, debuted at #50 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of May 18, 2019, which was Lizzo’s first chart-topper. It later peaked at #26. Then quietly climbed over the next four months. The week before Labor Day, “Truth Hurts” had reached an apparent ceiling of No. 3, already far better than anyone could have expected.
On August 26, Lizzo performed a medley of “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell” at the MTV Video Music Awards which was arguably the highlight of the night. Surrounded by ass-baring backup dancers and a giant digital butt that celebrated women’s curves, and reinforced Lizzo’s comedic persona, the performance helped boost her in streams. The week after the VMAs, “Truth Hurts” saw an increase of 102 percent in digital sales, making it rise to number one on the Hot 100 that week.
With “Truth Hurts,” the Detroit-born, Minneapolis-based, and classically trained artist created an ode to self-love after the tough end of a relationship. Women everywhere have felt the effects of screaming “You coulda had a bad bitch, non-committal” on a night out. The meaning behind the song is that heartbreak really doesn’t matter because you are “100 percent that b*tch” who puts “the ‘sing’ in single.”