James Arthur has offered a half-defence, half-apology for homophobic rap lyrics that saw him be dropped from Simon Cowell's Syco label back in 2014.
The singer, who is currently promoting comeback single 'Say You Won't Let Go', sparked outrage when he branded rapper Mickey Worthless a "fucking queer" during a rap battle.
reported at the time that he then went on to attack fellow X Factor alumni Lucy Spraggan after the she criticised his use of the slur on Twitter.
"Lucy what are you playing at having digs at me? You not thing [sic] you're being a bit over the top?" Arthur asked her.
"Is it coz you're a gay rights activist you had to say something as extreme as 'people kill themselves every day over words like queer' are you for real?" he continued.
Arthur insisted that he had not intended to "cause offence" at the time, adding that "[former X Factor contestant] Rylan is one of my best mates and he is as gay as they come!"
Three years later, and the singer has opened up about his regret at being labelled homophobic.
"My music is about love and I don't discriminate against any type of person, he told BBC News Beat
"It was taken out of context and I didn't mean to offend anyone at all. But I make no excuses and I dealt with the whole thing in the wrong way."
For context, the complete lyric was, according to The Guardian
, "You probably want to put your stinky dick in me, you fucking queer."
Ah. Much better.
During the height of the furore, Arthur had insisted that to him, queer had "come to mean something completely different."
The singer not thus far offered up an explanation as to the possible alternate meaning of queer, especially in the context of "you probably want to put your stinky dick in me."
Making history: The new generation of black LGBT+ role models
Brent Corrigan accuses James Franco’s ‘King Cobra’ of showing contempt for gay culture