R&B star Ciara has defended her use of the N-word in her songs, insisting she's having fun with the racial slur - and it is never uttered in a derogatory way.

The Goodies singer was taken to task for her use of the word during an appearance on U.S. show Access Hollywood Live on Tuesday morning (25Jun13) and explained that she feels entitled to go public with it because she's an African-American entertainer.

She explained, "As an entertainer you have fun and it's all about the context it's used in. I am an African-American woman, so I can identify with that word in different ways.

"I know where I'm coming from... If we have fun with it and you can understand where it's coming from, then you can probably receive it in that way."

She added, "I have the power to speak in a light-hearted way about it... (but) I cannot hear another person of another race saying, 'You this and you that'. It's all about how you say it... You know when you're using it one way."