JoJo Siwa speaks onstage during the 35th GLAAD Media Awards - Los Angeles at The Beverly Hilton on March 14, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California Source: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for GLAAD

Amid Backlash, JoJo Siwa Admits 'Gay Pop' Already Exists

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Out entertainer JoJo Siwa triggered a backlash by saying she wanted to "invent" a whole new category of music called "gay pop," prompting the Twitterverse to call her out and note the existence of a healthy and long-standing genre – and gay pop icons Tegan and Sara to post an iconic reaction video to TikTok.

@teganandsara #stitch with @billboard ♬ original sound - Tegan and Sara

In the face of that backlash, the 20-year-old singer – a former child star who is breaking away from her juvenile image with provocative new looks and material – "is walking back her claim" to a "new genre of music" and "saying she didn't mean to snub the LGBTQ+ legends who came before her," TMZ reported.

Asking Siwa for comment, the outlet heard from the young singer that "she was simply misunderstood when she said in a Billboard interview she planned to invent gay pop with the release of her song 'Karma.'"

TMZ went on to add: "She said her mission was to simply raise awareness regarding the genre of music, since many people are still unfamiliar with it."

"However, she did acknowledge she underestimated the public's familiarity with queer icons ... like Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Madonna, etc."

"I definitely am not the inventor of gay pop, for sure not," Siwa told TMZ. "But I do want to be a piece in making it bigger than it already is. I want to bring more attention to it."

Entertainment Weekly revisited the flap, summarizing Siwa's initial comments, in which Siwa told Billboard, "When I first signed with Columbia I said I wanted to start a new genre of pop."

Siwa "went on to compare the proposed genre with the jazz-funk style of dance, a fusion of jazz and hip-hop," EW added. "Which would make gay pop a fusion of pop and... gay, we suppose?"

Having taken note that "gay pop" is very much an already-invented class of music, Siwa went on to tell TMZ she'd be interested in a different job title when it comes to the genre: "I'm not the creator, I'm not the president, but I might be like the CEO, or CMO, chief marketing officer."

Have a look at the video for Siwa's new single, "Karma," and decide for yourself if she needs to add to her resume before applying for the position.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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