ARTIST PROFILE

Lizzo

Name: Melissa Viviane Jefferson

Birthday: April 27, 1988

Fav Dish: Plantain

Melissa Viviane Jefferson (born April 27, 1988), known professionally as Lizzo, is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, and flutist. Born in Detroit, Michigan, she moved to Houston, Texas where she began performing, before moving to Minneapolis, where she began her recording career.

Lizzo was born Melissa Viviane Jefferson in Detroit, Michigan. When she was ten, her family relocated to Houston, Texas. Lizzo started rapping as a teenager in a southwest part of Houston known as Alief. At the age of 14, she formed a musical group called Cornrow Clique with her friends. At this time she acquired the nickname “Lizzo”, a variant of “Lissa” inspired by Jay-Z’s “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”. After graduating from Alief Elsik High School, she studied classical music focusing on flute at the University of Houston. At 21, after the death of her father, she lived out of her car for a year as she tried to break into the music industry. She moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2011.

Before signing with Nice Life and Atlantic Records, Lizzo released two studio albums—Lizzobangers (2013), and Big Grrrl Small World (2015). In 2014, Time named her one of fourteen music artists to watch. Lizzo’s first major-label EP, Coconut Oil, was released in 2016.

In 2019, she attained mainstream success with the release of her third studio album, Cuz I Love You, which peaked inside the top five of the Billboard 200. The album spawned two singles: “Juice” and “Tempo”. The deluxe version of the album included Lizzo’s 2017 single “Truth Hurts”, which became a viral sleeper hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 two years after its initial release. Around this time, her 2016 single “Good as Hell” also climbed the charts, reaching the top ten of the UK Singles Chart and the Billboard Hot 100. Lizzo has been nominated for Best New Artist and received eight nominations at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for the deluxe version of Cuz I Love You and Song of the Year and Record of the Year for “Truth Hurts”.

Aside from singing and rapping, Lizzo is also an actress; she served as a voice performer in the animated film UglyDolls (2019) and starred in the crime comedy-drama film Hustlers (2019). In 2019, Time named Lizzo as “Entertainer of the Year” for her meteoric rise and contribution to music.

 

When asked about her gender and sexuality, Lizzo said, “I personally don’t ascribe to just one thing…. That’s why the colors for LGBTQ+ are a rainbow! Because there’s a spectrum and right now we try to keep it black and white. That’s just not working for me.”[88] She has a strong LGBTQ+ following and has dubbed her fans “Lizzbians”.

In June 2019, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, an event widely considered a watershed moment in the modern LGBTQ rights movement, Queerty named her one of the Pride50 “trailblazing individuals who actively ensure society remains moving towards equality, acceptance and dignity for all queer people”.

Lizzo is a classically trained flutist and has performed flute solos in several performances.

Lizzo grew up attending the Church of God in Christ.

Lizzo’s music primarily incorporates pop and hip hop. Her music also incorporates genres such as soul, R&B and funk-pop.