British singer James Arthur has issued a public apology after allegedly hurling a homophobic slur at a fellow musician in a rap track.
Arthur recorded a "diss track" to hit back at Micky Worthless after the rapper mocked the singer as a "pop puppet" in his own song.
Arthur branded Worthless a "f***ing queer" in his rap and many fans took to Twitter on Saturday to complain about the controversial lyrics.
"People kill themselves everyday because there's insults like that around. It's not something a role model should say," one tweet said.
The singer has now issued an apology via Twitter.
"Any offence I have caused by using the term 'queer' in my rap battle with MC Worthless. 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.
I would just like to make it completely clear that it was not meant in anyway as a reference to homosexuality," Arthur tweeted.
"I realise where the term has come from in meaning... but used in the context of the rap battles I have grown up with it has come to mean something completely different ... That said, I understand why it could cause offence and that definitely wasn't my intention," the singer wrote.