Riley Green Clarifies Super Bowl Halftime Tweet: ‘I Said and Meant Nothing Negative’
Riley Green has turned to Twitter to explain himself after a tweet he posted about Shakira and Jennifer Lopez during their Super Bowl halftime performance caused a firestorm of controversy.
The "I Wish Grandpas Never Died" singer tweeted on Sunday (Feb. 2) during the game, in which the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20. Shakira and Jennifer Lopez took the stage during halftime for a performance of international hits that was bilingual, and Green wrote, "Great game... but can I get somebody to translate this Super Bowl halftime show so I know what they are singing about??"
The remark drew widespread ire on Twitter, with users calling it "stupid," "tasteless" and "racist," among other responses. Some users defended Green, saying that Shakira and Lopez had been singing rapidly and that it was, in fact, difficult to make out the lyrics.
Green did not delete the tweet subsequently despite the outcry, but he did return to Twitter on Tuesday (Feb. 4) to clarify his intent, writing, "To my fans and those who know me THANK YOU for the support. To anyone offended by my tweet saying I wanted to know what Shakira was singing about....I’m a country songwriter and I listen for the story."
"I said and meant nothing negative about anyone," Green adds. "Both are very talented women."
Shakira and Lopez' halftime performance met with widespread praise in some quarters, while others criticized it as being too sexualized.
Green previously sparked controversy when he pulled his song "Bury Me in Dixie" from digital steaming services in October of 2019. Rolling Stone reported that he had made the decision due to a lyric that celebrated Confederate General Robert E. Lee, but as Green explained prior to the CMA Awards, "Bury Me in Dixie" was one of a batch of songs he recorded very inexpensively early on in his career, and he was dissatisfied with the sound quality. He subsequently returned the song to streaming services after making improvements to the track.
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