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The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

The Rise of a Midwest Princess 

The Rise of a Midwest Princess 

Queer artist Chappell Roan’s music is taking the nation by storm as a new pop sensation. She is known for her unique voice and emotional lyrics. She gained popularity for her soulful sound and powerful storytelling in her music. Her music often explores themes of love, heartbreak, and personal growth. The relatability of her lyrics resonates with listeners. Her talent and artistry have earned her a dedicated fan base and critical acclaim in the music industry. But who is Chappell Roan? How did she become the prominent pop idol she is today? How has her success impacted young listeners? 

Kayleigh Rose Amstruz was born on February 19, 1998, in Willard, Missouri, to parents Kara Amstutz and Dwight Amstutz. She lived in a trailer park and was the oldest of four children. In many interviews, she describes her upbringing as traditional, conservative, and Christian. During her adolescence, she went to church three times a week and spent summers at church camp. However, she grew up feeling very removed from the culture of her hometown. During a 2023 interview, she said that she struggled with her upbringing and snuck out often: “I just wanted to feel like a good person, but I had this part of me that wanted to escape so bad.” She began her interest in music at an early age, beginning to play piano at 10 years old. Her first public performance was at age 13, winning the talent show, after singing, “The Christmas Song”. At 14, she began songwriting and uploading covers on YouTube, developing a small following. Her music career began when she uploaded an original song titled “Good Hurt”. At only 17 years old, she signed with Atlantic Records. She dropped her given name, adapting a new stage persona. Chappell Roan was born. 

September 22, 2017 Chappell Roan released her first EP with Atlantic Records titled “School Nights.” She then performed as the opening act for Vance Joy on his 2017 “Lay it on Me” tour. In 2018, she moved to Los Angeles. She performed around the United States with Declan McKenna for his “What Do You Think About the Car?” tour. In early 2020, Roan began working with the producer Dan Nitro. That year she came out with three singles, “Pink Pony Club”, “Love Me Anyway” and “California”. However, the singles did not make much profit for Atlantic Studios, and she was dropped from the label only months after their release. The universe did not go easy on Roan, however, as her boyfriend broke up with her that same week. She worked as a production assistant, nanny, and barista for the next two years to sustain herself, before moving back to Missouri, working at a drive-thru while independently working on her music. In 2022 Roan moved back to Los Angeles. She earned a publishing deal with Sony, working again with Dan Nitro to produce her first single in two years, “Naked in Manhattan”. This was her first song expressing her attraction to the same gender. She gained a lot of popularity within the queer community. She was selected as the opening act for both Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” tour, and Fletcher’s “Girl of my Dreams” tour. She released two more singles in 2022, “Feminononinom” and “Casual”. In February 2023, Roan set off on her debut headlining tour, “Naked in North America”. She chose to have drag queens open for her. She speaks about this decision in an interview with “Crucial Rhythm”. “I’m very inspired by Drag in every aspect. I have three local Drag performers open for me in every city that I headline. I think it has really inspired the project with styling, makeup, performance, music video, the energy around the entire show and the writing is campiness. It’s the forefront of the project and the identity. I think that it’s the forefront of Drag, campiness, over the top, supposed to be fun and dramatic.” She describes her “Chappell Roan” persona as the drag version of herself, a more confident version, unafraid to do the things that she normally would be nervous to do. In 2023 Roan released “Kaleidoscope” and “Hot To Go”. 

On September 22 of 2023, Chappell Roan released her debut album, “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess”. This becomes a major breakout album. She goes back on tour with Olivia Rodrigo on her “Guts” tour. Within the first week of the tour, Roan’s music skyrocketed in popularity. Whereas she previously had a sort of cult following, little by little gaining more and more fans, she now was a global sensation among music listeners. On April 5, 2024, Roan released a new single “Good Luck Babe”. Her monthly listeners increased by 500%. Billboard describes her success as a “well-deserved breakthrough”, the song received 7 million streams within the first week and was listed in the Spotify Top 10, as well as debuting at number 77 on the Billboard Hot 100

Why is this important? Chappell Roan has had a significant impact on the queer community through her music. Her songs often explore themes of love, identity, and acceptance, resonating especially with teen and lgbt listeners. Roan being so open and authentic in the music industry has made her a source of inspiration and representation for the queer community in mainstream media. Her soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics resonate with many, no matter who they are, her songs are relatable and meaningful to those who listen. She is able to touch people’s hearts through her music. She captured the love of many, rising in popularity and recognition. Chappell Roan has created a lasting impact through her emotional depth, and being unapologetically herself.

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