Over the past few years, Chappell Roan has quietly — or not so quietly — become a favorite among certain segments of the LGBTQ community.
Those who are more plugged in and who love discovering artists before they make it big have fallen head over heels for the singer-songwriter and her ballad-leaning style of pop music.
Now just 25, Roan has been working hard at building her audience and leaving her mark on the industry for years, and she’s amassed a sizable following.
The rising talent just released her highly-anticipated debut full-length, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess, which fans have been waiting to hear for a long time.
For those who don’t know much about Roan, read on below and then give her album a play.
Her Stage Name
No, Chappell Roan isn’t her real name. To pay tribute to her grandfather, Dennis K. Chappell, who passed away from brain cancer a year or so before she signed her first record label deal, the singer adopted the stage name Chappell Roan. It was inspired by his favorite song, “The Strawberry Roan.”
The Abbey & Dan Nigro
Her song “Pink Pony Club” was inspired by a visit to The Abbey, a popular gay bar in West Hollywood. It was one of her earliest critical successes, and it quickly helped her grab the attention of music journalists. It was co-written by Dan Nigro, who went on to co-write and co-produce most of Olivia Rodrigo’s hits. After a while, he spent more and more time with Rodrigo, and that meant he couldn’t work with Roan any longer.
While it must have been tough for Roan that her frequent collaborator had to move on to work with other artists, it worked out in the end. Roan opened for Rodrigo on her Sour Tour after she became a global superstar. Playing to those large crowds helped her amass new fans and get her music heard. Roan is now also scheduled to open for the Grammy winner on her upcoming Guts Tour as well.
After signing with Atlantic Records when she was still a teenager, Roan attracted the praise of the music industry and journalists early on, as well as a small following. Sadly, she didn’t become a commercial success immediately.
After releasing a few projects with the company, they dropped her, and for a time while she was living in Los Angeles, CA and figuring out her next move she had to work as a production assistant and in a coffee shop to make ends meet.
Roan identifies as a queer woman, and as of August 2023, she’s in a relationship with another woman. According to an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the singer-songwriter says, “I feel scared kissing her in public.” She explained further, saying, “Even though I’m in L.A., homophobia is in the back of my head. It’s liberating, but there’s a new set of problems that I didn’t know existed.”
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