At the very beginning of Lizzo‘s Thursday (Aug. 4) appearance on Hot Ones — First We Feast’s hit series in which celebrities answer questions while eating painfully spicy chicken wings — the 34-year-old pop star said the food challenge would be “a piece of motherf–kin’ cake.” She was wrong.
On her eighth hot-sauce taste test, Lizzo’s teeth were chattering and her body was shaking with spice overload as her eyes teared up. “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” she repeated, before chucking her vegan chicken wing as far away from her as possible.
Before she got to that point, though, the three-time Grammy winner was able to more or less comfortably answer host Sean Evans’ trademark in-depth questions, including one about how she chooses which songs off her albums to make singles.
“I’m so bad at picking singles for myself because I think everything I do is incredible, I really do,” she laughed, revealing that her hit “About Damn Time” — the lead single and last track she wrote for her July-released fourth studio album Special — almost wasn’t promoted as a single at all.
Lizzo shared that she wasn’t a big fan of the song before it was finished, but realized once it was done that its message was something the world needed to hear in that moment. “The ‘I’ve been so down and under pressure, I’m way too fine to be this stressed’ — it’s like, hello!” she explained about the track, which would go on to become her second Billboard Hot 100 No. 1. “We needed that right then when I dropped that motherf—-r.”
The Yitty founder, who’s classically trained on the flute, also told Evans why she thinks her music-theory skills are such an important part of her songwriting process. “I make pop music, but I like to think I make really musical, interesting pop music that I think a lot about the composition,” she said. “Understanding the time signature you’re in — harmony and dissonance and rhythm and cadence — I think it is important.”
But back to the spicy task at hand, after the last couple of hot sauce samples gave Lizzo a run for her money, she was able to power through and complete the challenge — with a little help from some vegan ice cream to combat the spice. “We did it,” she said triumphantly at the end. “Album out, Yitty out, Watch Out For The Big Grrrls Emmy-nominated six times. And still, this was the highest on my list of goals.”
Watch Lizzo’s take on the Hot Ones challenge below: