Former X Factor winner James Arthur has run into trouble after being accused of homophobia in one of his songs.
The 2012 champion – who topped the charts with his debut single Impossible – included the lyrics in a song hitting back at rapper Micky Worthless for branding him a ‘pop puppet’.
In it, he tells the other musician: “You f***ing queer. Hilarious, precarious you Talibani confused, imbellic mimic of a gimmick.”
And he goes on to say: “You’re a terrible rapper, you should shoot yourself.”
Celebrities and other Twitter users were quick to blast the singer for his effort as the track quickly went viral.
Among his critics were fellow X Factor 2012 finalist Lucy Spraggan – who is openly gay – as well as comedian Matt Lucas.
The Little Britain star was particularly incensed, saying: “F*** you @JamesArthur23 for using the phrase ‘f***ing queer’ in your latest track. F*** you.”
James has since taken to the site himself to apologise.
“I just have to say I’m extremely disappointed in myself for being so naive with the diss track I made for an unknown rapper recently,” he admitted.
“Some of the things said in this rap can be mistaken for homophobic slurs and I assure you homophobia is something I do not believe in.
“I have many many gay friends. In rap feuds/rap disses the words I used have a different intent. This is a straight man I was attacking – a straight man who littered his track with severe homophobic slurs towards me.”
He also apologised personally to Matt Lucas and added: “Deeply deeply sorry to any gay or lesbian people out there.”
The comedian later told him: “Respect to you for responding and taking it down…let’s move on.”
James recently hit number two in the charts with his single You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You, as well as releasing his self-titled debut album.