Chappell Roan — A generation-defining pop star

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Chappell Roan is wearing a teal prom dress and a silver crown is on her red hair.
Chappell Roan (Album cover photo by Ryan Clemens from Instagram @chappellroan)
Chappell Roan is wearing a burgundy dress with a headdress that matches.
Chappell Roan (Photo by Ryan Clemens from Instagram @chappellroan)

Chappell Roan is on a roll.

The drag-inspired, perfectly Pride-forward artist Chappell Roan has been taking over the world, from Coachella to Governors Ball just outside New Jersey. Her recent rise rivals none — she’s truly in a class all her own. Dazzling to the #1 spot on iTunes chart as of June 2024, finally being recognized for her years of perseverance, queer individuality, and passion for making pop music, we’re now living in Chappell Roan’s world. 

If you’re gay and have taste, you need to listen to Chappell Roan. Even the straight and vibeless will find sheer magical joy dancing to some of the gayest songs out right now. As the kids say, mother is mothering. Chappell Roan is reinventing what it truly means to be a generation-defining pop star. She’s selling out venues, starting pink cowboy-capped revolutions with her unique drag-inspired aesthetics, and is only getting started.

Roan’s album, The Rise and Fall of the Midwestern Princess, draws on the discomfort so many queer folks feel growing up away from promising big city lights, where we long to escape for fantastical nights. In interviews, the singer explained she found herself in the gay and lesbian bars she’d often sneak off to while growing up in her home state of Missouri. These venues inspired Chappell to create the queer music blessing our eardrums. More authentic than most on the charts, Chappell is a reminder to everyone that gay singers have the capacity to be both ethereal and genuine. And that’s my unbiased opinion! 

Chappell Roan is leaning forward with her arms stretched back onto a wall. She has long curly red hair with bright blue eyeliner and bright red lipstick. She's wearing a black and white animal print top and black and white large checked pants.
Chappell Roan (Photo by Ryan Clemens from Instagram @chappellroan)

Chappell is very much for the girls and gays. Songs like “Pink Pony Club” and her recent single, “Good Luck, Babe”, tap into the invisible queer string that connects us all. Emotional ballads about craving more for yourself when the world’s stacked against you and the tumultuous journey of searching for love in all the wrong places fill her first (and only) album. Sometimes she hops on the mic and is less metaphorical, instead tapping into the unnoticed magic between the moments we all take for granted.

The album offers a variety of different sounds, so if “Naked In Manhattan” is too dance-y, you’ll like the smooth listening experience of “Casual”. There’s a balance with her variety that few can pull off but Chappell Roan does like a pro.

Whether you’re getting ready for a Pride Month event and need something to play for your friends, or need something to jam out to in the Uber on the way to the bar, Chappell Roan is there for you. She seems like the type of friend to roll an amazing joint and then hold your hair back over the toilet when it inevitably hits too hard. The music ricochets around the pop genre, giving energy similar to old-school Marina and the Diamonds with classic Kesha. Suffice it to say, my gay-ass self enjoys each and every song.

Chappell Roan announced at her jam-packed set at Govenor’s Ball that she was invited to the White House for a June Pride Month celebration, but declined the invitation. She then advocated for the freedom of oppressed people everywhere, trans rights, and women’s rights. Dressed as Lady Liberty herself, covered in the Statue of Liberty’s signature minty greenish grey, she quoted the monument’s famous “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” in a Ru Paul runway worthy performance. 

Her song “Hot To Go” has a silly fun dance that brings me bliss whenever I see a TikTok of a huge audience doing it in sync. It’s just as queer as the already very gay YMCA dance, with large hand movements too, so it’s just a good time for all involved. I’ve seen clips of people doing the Hot To Go dance for Emily Dickinson at her grave, who people online are convinced the writer would have been a fan of. 

Revisiting “Good Luck, Babe”, the song was rated number 8 top queer anthem in Rolling Stone’s 2024 Pride issue. The song pokes at longing, missed opportunities, and the consequences of suppressing your sexuality for society’s sake. It’s a stark reminder, this Pride and every month hereafter, that following your LGBTQ+ heart will never be a bad thing. 

Chappell Roan is currently touring around the United States and performing at various festivals. Her Instagram followers have more than tripled since her super viral Coachella performance. Give her a listen wherever you stream music and remember to be as gay as Chappell Roan. There’s something beautifully magical about dancing to “Femininomenon” in a lesbian bar surrounded by new friends and fellow fans of the Chappell Roan renaissance. A Roan-issance, if you will.