It'd be hard to argue that anyone has had a better year than Lizzo.
The singer-songwriter-rapper-flutist went from a relatively low-profile artist to one of the hottest, most consistent frequenters on music’s top charts in 2019.
The boptress has been grinding non-stop following the release of her third studio EP, Cuz I Love You. But it was the chart-topping success of her revived sleeper hit, “Truth Hurts,” that catapulted her to fame. She’s been a mainstay on the charts ever since, blessing our speakers with other empowering feel-good odes like “Good as Hell” and “Juice.”
For some, her sudden success may seem it like it happened overnight. But for those in the know, Lizzo has been steadily making music for years while struggling with homelessness, anxiety and the loss of her father. It was just this past summer where the songstress revealed to PEOPLE that she had seriously considered quitting music two years ago when it seemed like her career was going nowhere. But a pep talk from her team rallied her spirits and, thankfully, the rest of the world caught on to the magic of Lizzo, who leads the 2020 Grammy Awards with eight nominations.
Yet no one else has been more surprised by the change in circumstances than Lizzo, whom TIME named the 2019 Entertainer of the Year on Wednesday (Dec. 11) for their latest magazine issue.
“Then the culture changed. There were a lot of things that weren’t popular but existed, like body positivity, which at first was a form of protest for fat bodies and black women and has now become a trendy, commercialized thing. Now I’ve seen it reach the mainstream. Suddenly I’m mainstream!”
“I was experiencing a little bit of unhappiness. I was not happy with the way I felt to my body. I didn’t feel sexy, and I didn’t know when it was going to end. There were times when I would go onstage and be like, ‘Y’all, I’m not going to lie. I’m not feeling myself.’ Sometimes I’d break down and cry,” she divulged. “I was getting sick a lot. I was like, What the f-ck is going on? I need to fall back in love with my body.”
“When people challenge my talent, they challenge whether I deserve to be here. They challenge my blackness. I’m like, ‘Oh! I can easily just let your a** know right now in 132 characters why you’re f**king wrong,’” she said.
“I didn’t want to be famous,” she playfully shared. “I wanted to be like Brandon Boyd from Incubus! I just want to go to the farmers’ market.”
Congratulations to Lizzo on a stellar year, and we can’t wait to see what she’ll be stirring up at the top of the new decade!
Read her full TIME Magazine Entertainer of the Year profile here.
(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)