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This New Popstar is Currently Breaking the Internet

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TX State chapter.

Chappell Roan, a woman who has struggled to be seen in the music industry for over nine years, has finally blown up into a seemingly overnight sensation. What makes someone an overnight sensation? How does that just happen? It happened to her, and the internet is watching this woman’s rise to fame right before their eyes.

Roan was born in Missouri on Feb. 17, 1998, with her birth name being Kayleigh. In her hometown, she was raised with very conservative and Christian morals, which translate very differently to her funky, loud, and in-your-face pop songs. In 2015, when she was in high school, she signed a record label with Atlantic Records. While in contract with Atlantic Records, she would travel back and forth between Missouri to New York and Los Angeles. It was there where she released one of her most successful songs, “Pink Pony Club.” However, even with the success the song had, it was not enough for the record company, and in 2020 they dropped her due to the low success rate of her other singles, “Love Me Anyway” and “California,” leaving her with no choice but to move home and work independently on her music for a while. A year later, “Pink Pony Club” was declared the Song of Summer for 2021 by Vulture.

After working independently for two years at home, she met back up with her producer from 2020, Dan Nigro, who has also notably worked with Olivia Rodrigo on her hit albums, Sour (2021) and Guts (2023.) And in 2022, they began working on releasing some singles that would later belong on her debut album. She released “Naked in Manhattan,” a song expressing her same-gender attraction. It was also the first song she had released in two years at that point. She went on to be the opener for Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour Tour in 2021. This started getting her more recognition as she started being in the spotlight. She then released the singles, “Femininomenon” and “Casual” later that same year.

In September 2023, she released her debut album,The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess. The album has been praised many times by critics, but one that stood out was described by Olivia Horn of Pitchfork as, “a bold and uproarious pop project stitched with stories about discovering love, sex, and oneself in a new place.” After the release, she once again opened for Olivia Rodrigo on her Guts Tour 2024. After just the first weekend, Roan’s Spotify streams increased by 32%. She continued to open for two months, and in early April 2024 she then started moving on to solo performances. This gig is what skyrocketed her career.

With more people noticing Roan because of her involvement in the tour, as well as her unique drag-inspired costumes and amazing stage presence, she was offered to play at Coachella 2024. Although she was not a headliner, her performance was the best out of the other artists.

Just since February, she has gained masses of attention. She performed on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, which gave fans an opportunity to see her personality. She performed at the Governor’s Ball in NYC, where there were at least tens of thousands of fans in the crowd, and in May released her new single titled, “Good Luck, Babe!” This song received 7 million streams a week after the release. Roan most recently performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, as well as many notable milestones such as her album entering the 10th spot on the June edition of The Billboard Top 200. 

She has accumulated a very large fan base in the span of a few months, at a speed this generation has never witnessed. Her fun, over-the-top costumes and her authentic personality relayed on stage, paired with her powerful vocals, are what separate her from other artists. However, she is becoming known as the queer pop-princess icon, and her acceptance and open support of the LGBTQ+ community is exactly what this generation needs. Her support is very inspirational and uplifting to those who are a part of the community, and this is the type of authenticity that draws her fanbase to her. 

Many people love her backstory, how hard she has had to work to be seen by the music industry, and her determination to keep going after not being noticed for nine years. This is what people love to see and will continue to support: a self-made woman. This is just the beginning of her career, and supporters cannot wait to see what the future holds for this rising star.

Courtney Buck is currently a freshman at Texas State University. She is pursuing a degree in marketing. In her free time Courtney enjoys, writing, dancing, and eating good food.