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(Photo © Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Written by Cole Hediger. Published: June 15 2024


In the 21st Century, a new queer voice has found the stage. A poppy, fresh, and totally magnetic force, this artist is finding herself on late night shows, concert stages, and radios. With over 690 million streams on Spotify, this is none other than music’s super graphic ultra modern girl: Chappell Roan


Born in Willard, Missouri, as Kayleigh Rose Amstutz in 1998, she had a passion for music from the beginning. Starting piano lessons at the young age of 12 and entering into a talent show in 8th grade, she fell in love with performing and saw a glimpse of what her future could be. After winning the talent show, she tried to get a record deal, but at 14, she was turned away from every label she approached. 


Unable to stop her passion for music and songwriting, she continued to post her covers of famous songs on YouTube before penning her first original song. At 16, it all changed. She posted her song “Die Young”, and only 6 months later, a record label reached out. 




Atlantic Records, impressed with her vocal skill and mature tone, signed her. Quickly after, the artist-label duo set out to create their first record together. She teamed up with their producer and songwriter, Dan Nigro, and so began the producer and singer’s first collaboration. 


Kayleigh took on a new name, a stage name, better suited for the music she planned to put out, the version of herself she wanted her audience to see. Taken from her grandfather’s last name, Chappell, and a part of his favorite song “The Strawberry Roan” by Marty Robbins, Chappell Roan was born. 


Chappell released her first single in August of 2017, “Good Hurt”. Following the single came her debut EP, School Nights, which featured five songs: “Die Young”, “Meantime”, “Sugar High”, “Bad For You”, and “Good Hurt”. 




But after her album, the label dropped her. The change forced her to move back home to Missouri. Chappell was once again unable to leave her passion behind. She moved back out to L.A. with the intent to work on her music career for one year and one year only. If nothing came of it, then she’d return home and go to school. Working as a nanny, a production assistant, and a donut shop employee, Chappell did all she could to maintain her life out in California. Eventually, her hard work paid off. She earned a chance to team up with Dan Nigro again. 


Alongside her second chance, her persona of Chappell Roan developed again. Falling in love with the drag scene and her queer identity, she felt inspired to fully develop the alter ego og Chappell Roan. So began her wild red curls, her costumey attire, and drag-inspired makeup. This admiration for drag further inspired Chappell and pushed her to create “Pink Pony Club”. The song boasts a heartfelt plea to the singer’s "Mama" as she finds queer acceptance and new life in L.A. -- life at the Pink Pony Club. 




After this 2020 release, her songwriting with Dan Nigro continued, brewing up “Naked in Manhattan”, and soon (after signing with Island Records), her debut album was written. The Rise and Fall of A Midwest Princess released in September of 2023. The 14-track album championed hits like “Red Wine Supernova”, “Hot To Go!”, and “Casual”, and it earned spots on best 100 albums of the year (2023) from Vogue, Time, and Rolling Stone


Chappell’s popularity only grew when, in 2024, she joined Olivia Rodrigo on her GUTS Tour from February 23 to April 2 as the opener. Then, in March, her NPR Tiny Desk Concert came out. The performance featured the amazing raw vocals of Chappell while she donned a campy prom look. The filmed show allowed for a peek into the pop icon's aloof, witty, and overall fun stage presence. 




In April of this year, Chappell dropped a single titled "Good Luck, Babe!", a viral hit that shared an emotional full conversation to a past love. Within the first day of its release, the single climbed to over one million streams on Spotify!




Amidst her popular and busy tour schedule, Chappell announced her second album. She and Dan Nigro shared their third collaboration on the carpet at the ASCAP Pop Awards. Discussing the new work, Chappell shared, “I plan to do what I have always done: write songs that I love, create music I’m proud of and share that with the world.” The singer shared a sneak peak of her newest work at the Governors Ball Festival. Performing in a Statue of Liberty-inspired look, the pop queen performed a new song, "Subway", at the New York music festival. 


Her performance demanded attention, captivated audiences, and encapsulated all there is to Chappell Roan. With only two albums under her belt, Chappell Roan has already established herself as a one-of-a-kind artist, and we can't wait to see what she does next!