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      Highest Rated: Not Available

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      Birthday: Nov 8, 1990

      Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, USA

      Neo-soul vocalist SZA's first album was a breakout hit of 2017, debuting at Number Three in Billboard's album chart, spawning three hit singles and earning her five 2018 Grammy nominations. Her stage name was inspired both by her religious upbringing and by Wu-Tang member RZA; the initials stand for Sovereign (or Savior) Zig-Zag Allah. Born Solána Imani Rowe in St. Louis and raised in Maplewood, NJ, Sia was raised Muslim and bullied at school following the September 11 attacks. She grew up one town away from Lauryn Hill's birthplace; her father was a music fan who began her listening to Ella Fitzgerald and John Coltrane. As a Columbia High School student she channeled her energy into athletics and became a top-ranking high school gymnast. Another pivotal step came when she found an IPod full of Bjork's music, which spoke to her as a teenage outsider. After making early demos at home, SZA attended the 2011 CMJ Festival with her boyfriend, whose clothing company sponsored a showcase for Kendrick Lamar's Top Dawg imprint. The tapes found their way to label president Terrence "Punch" Henderson and ultimately to Lamar who was impressed; in 2013, Lamar said of her, "SZA's got the skill, confidence, hunger and courage to revive a sound that's been lost."  Before signing to Top Dawg she released two EP's See SZA Run and S on her own, supporting both with extensive touring; in late 2013 her indie single "Teen Spirit" was remixed with a 50 Cent guest appearance. Her Top Dawg debut, the EP Z (which was actually album-length with ten tracks) drew more attention and included appearances by Chance the Rapper and Lamar. She also began working on other artists' records, notably Rihanna's "Consideration" which she co-wrote and sang on. As a live performer, SDZA made trademarks out of her free-flowing clothes and hair. The full album Ctrl likewise included many guests stars, Lamar and Pharrell Williams among them. But it was also notable for the development of her songwriting, which had a stronger feminist slant. A brief relationship with an abusive boyfriend informed her own song "Supermodel." The first single "Drew Barrymore" used the actress (whose name is never mentioned in the lyric) as example of a woman who takes control of her own life after being overshadowed by men. Follow-up singles "Love Galore" and "The Weekend" likewise charted, and SZA stayed visible through 2017 with appearances on Maroon 5's single "What Lovers Do" and Lorde's "Homemade Dynamite". She also released a new song, "Quicksand," for the soundtrack of the comedy "Insecure" (HBO 2016- ). She ended a strong year with Grammy nominations, the platinum certification of her album, an appearance on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975- ) and the planning of a joint album with Mark Ronson and Tame Impala.




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