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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

Chappell Roan is the embodiment of the modern pop princess on the rise. She isn’t afraid to be truthful and brings forth a hyperfeminine, queer narrative through her songs. Her debut album, “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess,” explores queer sexuality, identity, and relationships from a young Midwestern woman’s perspective. 

Rolling Stone states that this body of work highlights “over synthy, Eighties-inspired melodies and irreverent lyrics” to describe Roan’s struggle “with her identity as a queer person growing up in Missouri.”

My introductory experience with the artist was through social media: specifically, a video clip of Elton John praising her singles, saying how he saw himself in her: “a queer pop superstar in the making.” Roan, as a long-time fan of Elton John, later told Time magazine that “he has paved such a way for every queer person in art and he has, like, sacrificed a lot for us.” This drew me in, and I think about this outward embrace of sexuality when I think about the “femininomenon” that is Chappell Roan.

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H-O-T T-O G-O: Audience Participation Encouraged!

For many, an introduction to her glamorous pop beat was her 2023 single “HOT TO GO!” The artist made a video explaining that she was too shy to do cheer in high school, so she made a cheer song that everyone could dance to at her shows

The power of Chappell Roan lies with a strong connection to her fans, and how she embraces a welcoming and safe community for LGBTQ+ people. She described for Rolling Stone that on tour, she “hand-picked a trio of local drag performers to open for her at each show, and selected LGBTQ-friendly bars in each city so her fans could meet and hang before and after every show.” 

Chappell Roan is unapologetically herself and advocates for her audience. When asked about the overt queerness in pop music today, she said for Time Magazine that there is now “no fear of looking raunchy, no fear that you’re gonna make people upset.” Her confidence is refreshing and unique.

Midwest Princess

In her “HOT TO GO!” video, she teaches the cheer dance to her Midwest hometown in Missouri, which she holds very close to her heart. She showcases local drag talent and her undeniable joy in this form of sensual and carefree expression.  

For ABC, she said that “a lot of people on the coasts put all Midwesterners in one type of category, but there are drag queens, there are people who are trans, there are massive queer communities that are just kind of hidden away…” She explains that she feels as if that is her real community, and that she feels like her shows are for “all the people who maybe aren’t allowed to be out and proud all the time.” 

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Chappell Roan is an amazing performer because she is emotive and her image is very fabulous and camp, showcasing the art of drag. She likes to dress up in sparkly bodysuits and dramatic 80s-inspired makeup, based on themes for each of her shows. Her emotions are so transparent through her stage presence; her acting amplifies a narrative of “messy” yearning, desires, and perspectives. 

When asked about her rising fame by ABC, the artist said, “I feel prepared, I’ve been doing this for a decade.” She is a mature inspiration for young people everywhere. She says conclusively, “I’m out and proud and also I’m gonna be a drag queen and also I’m going to say the raunchiest lyrics you’ve ever heard.” Audiences are absolutely enraptured by her honesty. 

You’d Have To Stop The World Just To Stop The Feeling

Chappell Roan’s voice soars through audiences, she is admirably vulnerable, and she advocates for LGBTQ+ storytelling. For these reasons, Chappell Roan is being shown so much love: hitting the top charts and opening for pop star Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts Tour. 

She most recently played for thousands of people at California’s Coachella Music Festival, released a new single: “Good Luck Babe,” and performed a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR. The artist is hailed as the next big thing by so many music publications and news sources; it is amazing to see such talent bringing light to sapphic love and heartbreak. Roan is receiving her flowers and expresses,  “It’s amazing to be living up my little pop-star life. It’s so slay.”

Hello! My name is Ella Bailey and I am a Freshman at UCSB. My pronouns are she/her. I am an English major with an interest in the Arts and Culture. I love painting, visiting museums and coffee shops, and discussing music with my friends. This is my first year as a Her Campus editorial intern, and I am so excited to learn from and be surrounded by other writers and creatives!