India Arie Skin Lightening? Photo Sparks Backlash, Singer Rebukes Accusations (VIDEO)

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(Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)Singer India Arie arrives for the BET Honors in Washington January 14, 2012.

India Arie has rebutted accusations that she has undergone skin lightening. The popular singer has been the target of rumors recently that she appeared "lighter" on a publicity photo for her new song. However, she has now come out to deny those rumors.

The R&B singer is famous for producing songs about being true to oneself and being authentic to who one truly is. So the latest set of rumors appeared to target the central issue of her message.

The controversy surrounds the publicity shot for her new song "Cocoa Butter" released this week. The photo sparked numerous comments that her skin tone appeared "several shades lighter" than most are used to seeing her.

The rumors have sparked such intense discussion among her fans and accusers that the singer too to social media site Twitter on Friday to speak out against the comments.

Arie denied the rumors, indicating that they are flat out lies, and clarified that she has absolutely no desire to bleach her skin, because she loves herself as she is, and loves her skin color "more than ever."

She explained that in the photo her skin tone appeared lighter because of the "magnificent lighting," which had caused her to "glow."

However, far from hoping to shut down the conversation that had been sparked by the photo, she oppositely commented that she wanted the conversation to continue, and that the issues of racism and color in the black community should be highlighted and discussed openly.

Here is a video of India Arie singing her song "Brown Skin":