Album: Phoenix (2017)
Charted: 22
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  • This song finds Rita Ora hooking up with Cardi B, Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha. Ora has never worked with Cardi B or Bebe Rexha before, but she has previously collaborated with Charli B. The pair teamed up for "Doing It" in 2015 and Ora appeared on a remix of XCX's "After the Afterparty," the following year.

    "For those who aren't afraid to rule the world, this is our anthem," Ora said in a statement. "A celebration of love. And of course thank you to all the fellow boss women who so kindly graced this song with me - each representing who they are and where they are from. I hope you dance your socks off with us!"
  • Rita Ora first penned the bi-curious anthem in 2016 and was inspired by Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl."

    I am excited, I'm open-minded
    I'm 50/50, and I'm never gonna hide it
    You should know

    Ora was aware that people would question if she's referencing her own sexuality in the lyrics. She explained to People that she wanted to express a sense of freedom: "I definitely said it because I can - and it was one of those things where, if I was 50/50...I'm not saying I'm '70/30.' ... 'I'm 50/50, and I'm not gonna hide it," she said. "I'm not hiding what I am, who I am, if I wanna do this, if I wanna do that. That's just how it's gonna be."
  • Speaking with Legend magazine, Ora denied that "Girls" was about an affair with her friend Cara Delevingne, but agreed that their relationship was sexually "ambiguous". The "I Will Never Let You Down" singer said that despite its bi-curious undertones, "Girls" is about her close relationships with her fellow singers rather than any romance with the model turned actress.

    "At the first listen, you'll be, like, 'Oh, wow. She's definitely letting us know that she likes girls,'" Ora revealed. "But it's not that. It is called Girls because I have features with my actual friends on it, like Charli XCX, who is one of my bestest friends. The song is basically about females complimenting other females and supporting each other."
  • Some fans and fellow artists, including Hayley Kiyoko, who identifies as a lesbian, and Kehlani, who identifies as queer, criticized the song for allegedly "exploiting bisexuality." Ora responded by opening up about her relationships with men and women while apologizing to anyone she offended.

    "I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey," she said. "I am sorry how I expressed myself in my song has hurt anyone," she continues. "I would never intentionally cause harm to other LGBTQ+ people or anyone. Looking forward, I hope that continuing to express myself through my art will empower my fans to feel as proud of themselves as I'm learning to feel about who I am. I have strived to be a contributor to the LGBTQ+ community throughout my entire career and always will be."
  • Speaking to Rolling Stone about the backlash the song received for its 'tone-deaf' lyrics, Charli X said she "could totally relate" to the ensuing conversation, adding there was never any intention to hurt anybody.

    "Rita had never confirmed her sexuality. She basically felt like she had to come out [as a result of the controversy]. I know that Rita's had extremely meaningful relationships with both men and women," the singer continued. "She really does have every right to tell her story because she's not doing it from an exploitative viewpoint… I don't understand why her story is less valid than anybody else's."

    Charli concluded that she wants to move on from the controversy in a positive way: "I just really want to learn from this situation," she said. "We can all learn from this conversation."
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