Melissa Viviane Jefferson was born April 27, 1988 and is known professionally as Lizzo. She is an American singer, rapper, and actress. Born in Detroit, Michigan, she later moved to Houston, Texas, where she began performing.
Aside from singing and rapping, Lizzo is also an actress, appearing in the movie Hustlers and as a voice over artist in UglyDolls, and plays the flute.
Lizzo started rapping as a teenager in a southwest part of Houston known as Alief. At the age of 14 she formed a group called Cornrow Clique with her best friends. She studied classical music focusing on flute at the University of Houston. At 21, after the death of her father, she lived out of her car for a year as she tried to break into the music industry. She moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2011.
After struggling with body issues at an early age, Lizzo became an advocate for body positivity and self-love as she attracted more mainstream attention, while making diversity the focus of her music, in regards to one’s body sexuality, race, and more. Her group of back-up dancers, the Big Grrrls, consists of all plus-size dancers. Highlighting body inclusivity and celebrating individuality, Lizzo appeared in ModCloth’s “Say It Louder” campaign, which launched on June 11, 2018. In the same month, she sported the first plus-size outfit made for FIT’s Future of Fashion runway show by Grace Insogna at a Pride Island LGBTQ event.