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Who is Chappell Roan? Meet The Self-Proclaimed Midwestern Pop Princess On The Rise

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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 UC Riverside chapter.

The first song I ever heard by Chappell Roan was “Casual.” I had been scrolling on Instagram and saw a post about Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour Tour. This was the first time Roan was opening for her, and I heard only a few seconds of the song, but I knew I had to find it. When I did, I knew I had discovered something special. Chappell Roan’s music is like walking into a mood board. It is vibrant, and deeply personal, filled with scraps from every part of life. Roan’s music, along with her music videos and fashion, are fearless and unique in a way few artists are nowadays. Roan likes what she likes. She has had many successful singles, many of them having gone viral, and things seem to be shifting for Roan as she is becoming a household name, especially for young women who see themselves in her music. Whether you are looking for someone to commiserate with over a situationship that ended badly (which they always seem to do) or want a song to dance around to this summer, Chappell Roan is for you. 

Chappell Roan is an American singer-songwriter from Missouri. Her music career began in 2017 and now in 2024, her latest single “Good Luck, Babe!” debuted at No. 77 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Since “Good Luck, Babe!” it seems that Roan’s rise to the mainstream has finally arrived, and Roan is aware of this slow, but steady climb to the spotlight. Her album entitled The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess shows that she is aware of her journey as an artist. This may not seem revolutionary, but in the day and age of instant virality, Chappell Roan’s embrace of the long haul journey to success is refreshing, and inspiring. 

For longtime fans of Chappell Roan, seeing her mainstream success and love for her music feels like watching a close friend succeed. Roan’s path to notability has been marked by ups and downs. When she first moved to LA she was signed by Atlantic Records, and “positioned as the next Lorde after a video of her 2017 single “Die Young” went viral.” That era of Roan’s career was very different from the artist we know now. Her “Die Young” music video was whimsical, with Roan traversing a wooded area in a flowing white dress. It is a stark contrast to the bedazzled pop star of today. Roan’s transition to her flamboyant midwest princess era came after her 2020 single “Pink Pony Club,” a pop dance ballad that celebrated the gay community, drag queens, and their influence on Roan’s art. Atlantic Records dropped Roan, but this would mark the start of Roan’s journey to the musician she is now. 

Roan’s production, from her music, costumes, and videos, is another layer of what sets her apart. She works with friends and independent artists to make her costumes, which range from a sexy magician in her summer hit “Red Wine Supernova” to a magical butterfly costume inspired by Lady Miss Kier for Coachella Weekend 2 set. Roan infuses every aspect of her personality into her sets, whether it be for her NPR Tiny Desk performance in March, or her Coachella performances. These are yet another rung on her belt with the Desert Sun saying, “Roan has been on the up and up, and her Coachella sets proved why. Not only does she have a powerhouse voice, but her stage presence is beyond fun.” This is the consistent reaction to Roan when she takes the stage. Her performances are beyond entertainment; they are sparkly experiences that make you wanna dance. Chappell Roan is a breath of fresh air who is finally getting the praise she deserves, and honestly it’s about time. 

Emily Manus

UC Riverside '25

Emily is a third-year public policy major. She hopes to write about her passions and issues that are important to her as well as the UCR community. Emily's interests include the arts, media, and culture.