April 27, 1988
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Hailed as her generation's answer to Missy Elliott, singer, rapper and flutist Lizzo became a critical favorite with a powerhouse blend of R&B, hip-hop and soul which fully embraced the concept of body positivity. Born Melissa Jefferson in Detroit, MI in 1988, Lizzo spent her teenage years in Houston, TX where she first began showcasing her rhyming skills in a group called Cornrow Clique and briefly studied Classical Flute at the city's main university. She became a fixture on Minneapolis' indie scene after moving to the city in her early twenties, performing in electronic soul duo Lizzo & the Larva Ink and R&B all-female trio The Chalice. In 2013 she worked with Lazerbeak and Polica's Ryan Olson on her debut album, Lizzobangers, an aptly-titled collection of empowering anthems which placed her at the forefront of the alternative hip-hop scene. After touring with Har Mar Superstar and briefly reuniting with her Chalice bandmates on Prince and 3rdEyeGirl's 2014 LP, Plectrumelectrum, Lizzo once again wowed the critics with her 2015 sophomore, Big Grrrl Small World, a typically ambitious fusion of urban sounds and body positive messages which attracted the attention of Atlantic Records. Lizzo released her first major label work, the Coconut Oil EP, in 2016, and went on to host live music series "Wonderland" (MTV, 2016), launch her first major headlining tour, "Good as Hell," and open for Florence + the Machine and Haim before going viral with a live performance in which she played the flute and twerked at the same time. She enjoyed her first taste of commercial success in 2019 when infectious lead single, "Juice," and a collaboration with her most obvious influence, Missy Elliott, helped third studio effort Cuz I Love You to peak at No. 6 on the Billboard 200. That same year she voiced perfect doll Lydia in CGI animated feature "UglyDolls" (2019) and joined fellow R&B stars Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B and Usher in the cast of crime comedy "Hustlers" (2019).