With a record-breaking number one single,
Lizzo is getting a lot of Best New Artist buzz as the Grammys consider this year’s
nominations. She may be new to a lot of listeners around the world, but she’s a familiar face
to Minnesotans, who were privileged to witness her rise as a member of our music community. Lizzo, who was born in Detroit, moved to Minneapolis
in 2010 and jumped into the local scene. In 2012, she started a group called The Chalice
with fellow rapper Sophia Eris and singer-songwriter Claire De Lune. They quickly won the City
Pages Picked to Click poll, with local tastemakers voting The Chalice Minnesota’s hottest new
act. The following year, Lizzo connected with Lazerbeak,
a member of the Doomtree collective. Adding her verses to his beats, she created Lizzobangers,
her debut album. Her Minnesota fans put it on repeat. Lizzo and Sophia Eris continued their musical
partnership by joining up with rapper Manchita and DJ Shannon Blowtorch to form a hip-hop
crew called GRRRL PRTY. In summer 2014, the members of GRRRL PRTY joined Lizzo onstage
in Minneapolis at the Rock the Garden festival. Later that summer, Lizzo gifted us with another
instant classic. Released as a single to benefit the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, “Let
‘Em Say” was a buoyant collaboration with Your Smith. After Prince saw The Chalice performing on
a local TV station, he invited Lizzo and her bandmates out to Paisley Park to record an
appearance on “BOYTROUBLE,” a song by his band 3RDEYEGIRL. By this point Lizzo was getting tapped for
national TV appearances on shows like Letterman and Colbert. She was also making her second
album: Big Grrrl, Small World was recorded at Justin Vernon’s April Base studio just
across the border in Wisconsin. In February 2016, Lizzo headlined First Avenue
for the first time. Joined onstage by friends GRRRL PRTY, Your Smith, and Har Mar Superstar,
she gave Minnesota a grand goodbye as she prepared to move to Los Angeles. When Prince tragically died two months later,
Lizzo jumped on a plane and flew back to Minneapolis to join a spontaneous street party paying
tribute to Prince outside the club he made iconic. Lizzo’s now a superstar, her gifts known
to the world. Whenever she takes the stage in Minnesota, though, it feels like a homecoming.

Lizzo’s time in Minnesota (Mini documentary for The Current)
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