THE MELISSA YEARS
Bold, Brilliant, and Boundary-Pushing
Over the past several years, Lizzo has emerged as a true musical icon. She has changed the way pop stars are supposed to look and act, and whether onstage or in press interviews, she preaches inspirational messages of self-love, healing, and body positivity.
Bold, self-confident, and often funny, Lizzo is also unafraid to show her vulnerable side, and she’s been open about her struggles. Although it might seem as if it was an easy road to stardom for her, that’s simply not the case. Lizzo only achieved show-business success as the result of years of hard work and dedication.
You know the flute. Now meet the woman behind it. Fast Facts!
Body positivity refers to the idea that everyone should have a positive body image, regardless of their shape, size, gender, skin tone, or physical abilities.
Lizzo is a huge anime fan. Specifically, she’s a big admirer of the manga and anime series Sailor Moon
. Born in Motor City
You might not realize it, but Lizzo’s real name isn’t “Lizzo.” It’s Melissa Viviane Jefferson. Melissa was born in Detroit, Michigan, on April 27, 1988. Her parents, Shari Johnson-Jefferson and Michael Jefferson, were always very close to her. When Melissa was a child, her mother sang in a church choir, and Melissa loved gospel music. But at that point in Melissa’s life, she had no desire to sing in front of a crowd, whether it was at church or elsewhere. Fast Facts!
Since Melissa was born on April 27, her star sign is Taurus.
Detroit’s nickname is “Motor City.” The city got that nickname in the early twentieth century because of the many car companies that were located there. Freestyling and Flute Playing
When Melissa was about ten years old, her parents moved the family to Houston, Texas. And once Melissa came to Houston, she fell in love with hip-hop, thanks to the city’s vibrant rap music scene. It was around this time that Melissa first thought that perhaps she should consider a career as a rapper! After all, she was good at improvising rhymes. She could come up with them quickly, right off the top of her head!
Also around this time, the music teacher at Melissa’s school asked her if she was interested in learning how to play the flute. She said yes and began studying the instrument. Fast Facts!
When Melissa was in fifth grade, she attended a Destiny’s Child concert. Destiny’s Child was an R&B group composed entirely of women. Going to that concert really inspired Melissa!
When Melissa was first learning how to play the flute, she listened to recordings of famous Irish flute player James Galway.
Copyright © 2024 by Arie Kaplan; Illustrated by Risa Rodil. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.