Who is Lizzo?

Lizzo rose to fame seemingly out of the blue in 2019 with her anthemic songs and body-positive message. With songs like “About Damn Time” and “Juice,” she has since cemented herself as one of the most reliable hitmakers in recent memory.

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But, how did Lizzo become Lizzo? Trek through the popstar’s journey to fame, below.

[RELATED: Beyoncé Shows Support for Lizzo During Lawsuits]

Early Days

Lizzo, aka Melissa Viviane Jefferson, was born in Detroit, Michigan. At a young age, she moved to Houston, Texas. There, she classically trained as a flutist. Around 14, she started venturing into pop music with a group called Cornrow Clique.

While in the Cornrow Clique, she acquired the stage name Lizzo. The name started as a play on her real name, Melissa: Lissa. At the time Jay-Z’s “Izzo” was popular. They put the two together and got the stage name Lizzo.

Lizzo started her reputation as a body-positive activist in 2014 with “My Skin.” She called the song the “thesis statement” for her second studio album, Big Grrrl Small World.

“This is a summoning of bodies: all shapes, sizes and shades to unite in their pride, and wear their skin like the gift it is,” she said at the time.

Big Grrrl Small World helped to kickstart Lizzo’s career and her place as a cultural force.

Cuz I Love You

Lizzo received her big breakthrough with the release of Cuz I Love You. The lead single “Juice” made major waves upon its release. She followed it up with the viral sleeper hit “Truth Hurts.” It ultimately became her first No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


Lizzo became an overnight sensation with Cuz I Love You. She followed it up with an even buzzier album, Special.

She opened up the album cycle with the referential track “Rumors.” She followed that up with the TikTok approved “About Damn Time.” The song skyrocketed to success because of the viral dance attached to it.

Misconduct Allegations

Lizzo recently came under fire from a lawsuit filed by a host of her former dancers. They claimed she fostered a hostile work environment and sexually harassed a number of them.

“Plaintiffs were aghast with how little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her,” the suit read. “Especially in the presence of many people whom she employed.”

Lizzo has claimed the allegations are false.

“I am not here to be looked at as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days,” she wrote in response. “I am very open with my sexuality and expressing myself but I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not.

“There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world,” she continued. “I know what it feels like to be body shamed on a daily basis and would absolutely never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight. I’m hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this. I want to thank everyone who has reached out in support to lift me up during this difficult time.”

(Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)

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