In an era of viral sensations, when a song’s popularity and artist’s profile can skyrocket overnight and flame out just as quickly, one of the most impressive aspects of Lizzo is her tenacity. She’s a grafter. The Detroit-born, Houston-raised artist dropped her debut album Lizzobangerz in 2013, a feisty, forthright collection that lives up to its title, showcasing Lizzo’s skills for spitting sharp bars at a ferocious clip. She spent the majority of her 20s immersed herself in Minneapolis’ vibrant DIY music scene, collaborating with local artists, including Prince (she contributed vocals to a song on Plectrumelectrum), releasing her second record Big Grrrl Small World in 2015.
With every year, every high profile sync (Broad City, Insecure), and support tour (Haim, Florence and the Machine), Lizzo’s journey to find the power in her voice—both literally and figuratively—has been a pleasure to watch. In her personal life she was tackling issues of self-acceptance, pouring her positivity and vulnerability into songs like “My Skin,” “Juice,” and her recently platinum certified clapback anthem “Truth Hurts.” These days she can be found delighting Ellen DeGeneres with her high energy fluting, or thrilling Rihanna with her recent twerk-tastic performance at the BET Awards.
One sunny day this past May Lizzo breezed on set in New York, her ever-present flute Sasha in one sharply manicured hand. Her schedule was packed with press commitments followed by a headline show that evening—just one of the many tour dates in support of her lately released third album Cuz I Love You. It turns out the best advice Lizzo ever received is directly related to the creation of this four years in the making opus, advice that came from one of her childhood heroes (and now collaborator), Missy Elliott. Watch this latest episode of Best Advice above and check out the rest of the series—with the likes of Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, and Cyndi Lauper—here.