X Factor winner James Arthur sparked outrage after making a homophobic slur in a rap he posted online against rapper Micky Worthless.
The 25-year-old was angered by Worthless's song about the Impossible chart topper, titled Stay In Your Lane, James, for his talent television show background.
Arthur responded with the track Hey Mickey! (Worthless) which contained the line: "You f***ing queer. Hilarious, precarious you Talibani confused, imbellic mimic of a gimmick."
The lyrics was not greeted well by many fans and celebrities, including Little Britain comedian Matt Lucas, who took to Twitter and wrote: "F*** you @JamesArthur23 for using the phrase 'f****** queer' in your latest track. F*** you."
In a series of tweets, Arthur apologised for the offensive lyrics.
"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 wrote, adding, "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.. Like I said though it was a rap diss .. And in no way a reflection of my true character.. I've heard I've offended Matt Lucas who's work I have always admired and that is a blow. Deeply deeply sorry to any gay or lesbian people out there."
"#LOVE to my fans but I'm coming off twitter for good. HQ will be doing all my tweets from now on. PEACE!" he posted.
Arthur was a favourite to win the reality show, particularly since he revealed a troubled childhood during his auditions. He spoke of having to steal food and sleeping on the streets as a teenager. Arthur said his family and he moved to the UK when he was 14, after his mother, Shirley Ashworth, broke up with his stepfather, a move that left the family in poverty.