Pop music is dominated by solo female singers, with names like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande and so many more continuing to rule the charts with their never-ending slew of radio-ready hits.
It’s a field that’s notoriously difficult to break into, but at the same time, it thrives off of new acts with unique sounds and something to say who make a splash.
A few years ago, Ava Max threw her hat into the pop ring, and over time, she proved that she wasn’t a carbon copy of anyone and that she had more than just one hit single in her arsenal.
Now, as she begins to roll out what will be her second album, it’s time to introduce her to people who may have heard some of her work, but who might not know much about the still-rising talent.
Here are five things to know about pop singer Ava Max.
1. Her First Gig Was Singing Whitney Houston
Max may still be introducing herself to millions of future fans all around the world, but she isn’t new to music. Max began singing when she was just a child, and she wasn’t doing so only at home. When she was just 10 years old, she performed for a crowd of several hundred in Norfolk, VA. Her song choice? “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston.
She told The Virginia Pilot, “I don’t even remember who I opened for,” adding, “I really gave it my all.” She then went on to spend more than a decade writing and recording demos, performing, and facing rejection after rejection. At times, she even felt like giving up, but she didn’t! At 14, she convinced her parents to sell their home and move to California, and it ended up paying off.
2. It All Started With “Sweet But Psycho”
Finally, after landing a record deal and working with producers and songwriters, Max launched her career with a bang. Her first official single, “Sweet But Psycho,” was the kind of introduction most pop stars can only dream of.
The tune went to No. 1 in dozens of countries, and it broke into the top 10 on the Hot 100 in the U.S.
It went on to end 2018 as one of the biggest hits in the world, and it has since racked up more than one billion plays on Spotify alone and the official music video is approaching that milestone as well.
3. She Was Gagged On Drag Race
In anticipation of kicking off the next era of her career, Max guest-starred as a judge on season 14 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
While she wasn’t exactly the most lively or exuberant person to sit on the panel, she was fully gagged when the bottom two queens lip synced to her single “My Head & My Heart,” yet another piece of dance-pop perfection from her debut album Heaven & Hell.
Jorgeous and Orion Story gave it their all, and the look on Max’s face as they danced and death-dropped showed that she was fully gagged.
4. You Know Her Boyfriend’s Work
Most of Max’s songs are produced and co-written by her boyfriend Henry Walter, who goes by the moniker Cirkut. If you’re not familiar with him by name, you certainly know some of the tunes he’s worked on.
Throughout the last decade or so, Cirkut has had a hand in crafting global smashes from the likes of Rihanna (“You Da One,” “Where Have You Been”), Maroon 5 (“Girls Like You” with Cardi B, “Sugar”), Kesha (“Timber” with Pitbull, “Die Young”), Miley Cyrus (“Wrecking Ball”), Jessie J (“Domino”) and perhaps most notably, Katy Perry (“Roar,” “Unconditionally,” “Dark Horse” with Juicy J, “Part of Me,” and “Wide Awake”), among many others.
5. Her New Single Might Be The Summer Anthem We Need
After she finished promoting Heaven & Hell, Max immediately began work on what would become her second album. So far, that project doesn’t have a name or a release date, but she has just doled out the first single, and it comes at the perfect time.
“Maybe You’re The Problem” is an undeniable synthpop smash, and it appears just before summer begins, which is the perfect window in which to launch what might go on to become the song of the season.
The tune is just beginning to pick up steam, and with any luck, it will be blasting from car windows and in clubs everywhere for months.
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