Lizzo, born Melissa Jefferson, is a singer, rapper and classically trained flautist. Through her music and social media, on which she has over 2.5 million followers, she advocates body positivity, self-love and diversity, drawing industry attention from the likes of Marc Jacobs , who dressed her for the Met Gala 2019.
Lizzo’s interest in music began while in junior high school, where she joined her school’s marching band playing the flute. Aged 14, she formed her first rap group, the Cornrow Clique, with two classmates. This was when she got her nickname, Lizzo. She attended the University of Houston on a music scholarship but dropped out in 2005. Three years later, she joined the band Ellypseas, playing the flute. In 2010, the band retired and her father passed away, so she returned to Denver for 10 months to be with her mother. Next, Lizzo moved to a suburb of Minneapolis where her career kicked off. She formed two bands: the Chalice, which made pop with some rap; and Grrrl Prty, with Sophia Eris of the Chalice.
During this time, Lizzo was working on solo material and her debut album, Lizzobangers, was released in 2013. Her second album in 2015, Big Grrrl Small World, resulted in a record deal with Atlantic. She moved to LA and soon became the opening act for artists like Florence + the Machine and Haim, and played the flute for other artists, with a fan-made video of her playing flute in Kendrick Lamar’s “Big Shot” becoming an internet sensation.
In 2019, she played at music festivals Coachella and Glastonbury, launched her third album Cuz I Love You and attended her first Met Gala as a guest of Marc Jacobs, alongside model Kate Moss and singer Rita Ora. Lizzo has featured in magazines such as Allure, The Rolling Stones and American Elle.