The Brit released the new track, which also features Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha over the weekend, and came under fire for the song's "tone-deaf" lyrics, which sex rights activists blasted as "dangerous" and "belittling."
The 27-year-old singer was quick to apologise for lyrics like "Sometimes I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls/Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls girls", revealing she counts herself as bisexual and had no idea the words would upset others.
She explained the tune was written "to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life."
She added, "I am sorry how I expressed myself in my song has hurt anyone. I would never intentionally cause harm to other LGBTQ+ people or anyone. Looking forward, I hope that continuing to express myself through my art will empower my fans to feel as proud of themselves as I'm learning to feel about who I am."
And on Tuesday, May 15, rapper Cardi B added her thoughts via Twitter, stopping short of apologising for signing up for the track.
"Listen to GIRLS by Rita Ora ft (featuring) me @BebeRexha @charli_xcx," she wrote. "We never try to cause harm or had bad intentions with the song [sic]."
Listen to “GIRLS” by Rita Ora ft me @BebeRexha@charli_xcx .We never try to cause harm or had bad intentions with the song .I personally myself had experiences with other woman ,shiieeett with a lot of woman ! I though the song was a good song and i remember my experience .— iamcardib (@iamcardib) May 15, 2018
"I personally myself had experiences with other woman, shiieeett with a lot of woman! I though the song was a good song and i remember my experience."
The "Bodak Yellow" star also took a moment to apologise for slurs and language she has used in the past without realising they were homophobic at the time.
"I know I have used words before that I wasn't aware that they are offensive to the LGBT community," she wrote. "I apologize for that. Not everybody knows the correct 'terms' to use. I learned and I stopped using it."