Courtesy of Jason Martin via Flickr

Chappell Roan, a 26-year-old self-proclaimed “Midwestern Princess,” is the latest rising music sensation. With her grandiose style inspired by drag and her music exploring the queer experience, Roan is well on her way to becoming the next queer icon. 

Born Kayleigh Rose Amstrutz, Roan was raised in Willard, Missouri as the oldest of four in a conservative Christian household. Having discovered her passion for music through piano, Roan performed at her school’s talent show and auditioned unsuccessfully for America’s Got Talent.

After her failed audition, Roan began uploading covers onto YouTube. After uploading the original song “Die Young” onto her page, she caught the attention of several record labels. She then traveled to New York and after several music showcases, she signed with Atlantic Records. 

Under Atlantic, she adopted her stage name Chappell Roan after her late grandfather Dennis K. Chappell, who passed away due to brain cancer. On August 3, 2017, Chappell released her first single “Good Hurt” and was met with positive acclaim. 

In April 2020, Chappell released “Pink Pony Club,” which was her first collaboration with Dan Nigro. Roan released “Love Me Anyway” and “California” in May 2020. Atlantic Records dropped Chappell and then she moved back to Missouri. 

In 2022, Chappell struck a deal with Sony and moved back to LA. She reunited with Dan Nigro once again to create “Naked In Manhattan.” Roan was selected as the opening act to Oliva Rodrigo’s “Sour Tour” and Fletcher’s “Girl of My Dreams Tour.” 

In August 2022, Roan released “Femininomenon,” her second independent single. Then in October 2022, she released “Casual.” Roan then embarked on her first headlining tour: “Naked in North America.” Inspired by Orville Peck, she booked local drag queens for her opening acts. Roan also created themes for each show, encouraging fans to dress in camp costumes. 

In March 2023, Roan released “Kaleidoscope” after signing with Amusement Records, and “Red Wine Supernova” and “HOT TO GO!” in the following months. 

Chappell Roan released her debut album “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess” on September 22nd, 2023, after which she embarked on her second headlining tour: “The Midwest Princess Tour.” Both the tour and album were met with critical acclaim. 

In 2024, Roan opened for Olivia Rodrigo at her “Guts World Tour” in the United States and Canada, performed as a musical guest on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and released a Tiny Desk Concert with NPR. In April, she released her hit single “Good Luck Babe!” which was praised worldwide and received over 7 million streams in its first week. The song debuted at 77 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later in the month, Roan would then go on to perform at Coachella.

In June 2024, “The Rise and Fall of a Midwestern Princess” entered the top 15 in Billboard Top 200 for the first time at number 12. The album also reached the top 10 of Billboard Top Album Sales at number 8.

On June 9th, Roan revealed she had declined an invitation from the White House to perform at this year’s Pride celebration, saying, “We want liberty, justice and freedom for all. When you do that, that’s when I’ll come.”

At The Governor’s Ball Music Festival, Roan performed an unreleased song “Subway.” Chappell is continuing to work on her upcoming album.

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