Lizzo was nominated for eight Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist and Album of the Year, at the 62nd Grammy Awards. This year, the 31-year-old classically trained flautist, vocalist, and rapper got the most nominations of any musician.
However, in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Lizzo, real name Melissa Jefferson, discussed her days before commercial success: Lizzo stated that she dropped out of college before her junior year and had to live in her vehicle, which nearly forced her to abandon music completely.
Lizzo started to play the flute in a fifth-grade band class in Houston, Texas and acquired an interest in classical music.
She joined the marching band in eighth grade, and by high school, she was working one-on-one with the Houston Ballet’s lead flautist.
Lizzo told Rolling Stone on Tuesday, “I was just so amazing at the flute.” “‘This is it for me,’ I thought. ‘I’m going to college for this s—-,’ I knew.” She did, in fact, major in music on scholarship at the University of Houston and played piccolo in the Cougar Marching Band.
The plan had been for Lizzo to join a symphony orchestra after graduation, but she dropped out before her junior year. Her father, who had always been a big fan of Lizzo’s flute playing, was ill, and money was scarce.
“I didn’t feel like I had a purpose for being a musician or anything,” she said on “CBS.
Lizzo isn’t the only one: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, just 41% of first-time full-time college students will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years. According to experts, financial constraints and unanticipated personal problems are two major issues that prevent students from completing their degrees on time.
“I was upset and disappointed in myself because I’d always been the golden kid in school,” Lizzo told Texas Music Magazine “When I wasn’t successful, I wondered, ‘Who am I?'” “I believed my life was going to be different, but it wasn’t.”
“When I gave up on flute and stopped communicating to my friends, I felt like that life simply evaporated,” Lizzo said on CBS. Because her parents had gone to Denver, Lizzo slept on friends’ couches and floors all around Houston. She eventually spent six months living out of her car, a 1999 Subaru.
“That was my home for a brief while,” Lizzo said on CBS. “I recall crying myself to sleep in that automobile on Thanksgiving.”
Lizzo didn’t contemplate singing until she responded to a random Craigslist ad in 2008 looking for a lead vocalist for a band. She auditioned for the role of a front lady on the spur of the moment, and she got the job. “That was entertaining. I’ve gained the confidence to be a leader. “I dared to express myself.”
When the band disbanded in 2011, Lizzo relocated to Minneapolis, where she met Prince, who “co-signed” her songs. She sang on his 2014 single “Boy Trouble.”
“When I heard that music, Prince was the first person to truly make me feel acknowledged as an artist,” Lizzo told NPR in June. “And I was compensated!” “This is my first large check.” According to Texas Music Magazine, she put the money toward three months’ rent and splurged on a laptop. “I don’t live too wild,” she explained. “I’m pleased with my business acumen.”
Lizzo released “Truth Hurts,” the first song off her 2019 album, “Cuz I Love You,” in 2017, but was so disheartened by the lack of reaction that she considered abandoning music once more. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Chart just one month after its release in May.
“Now the song that made me want to leave is the song that everyone’s falling in love with me for,” Lizzo told People in July, “which is such a testimony to journeys: Your worst day becomes your biggest victory.”