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Elle King: 2015 Breakout Artist

By Amanda Wicks

Elle King, aka Tanner Elle Schneider, has been performing since she was 16, but it was only in 2015 that the 26-year-old found herself in the pop culture spotlight. Having earned comparisons to the likes of Janis Joplin and Johnny Cash, King’s gravelly voice and polished but fierce stage presence made her a welcome addition to the year’s musical landscape.

Rooted in rock with a sound that incorporates  country and soul, King seems like a throwback to rock and roll’s halcyon days, when big vocals and bigger rhythms drove songs. Of course, she lends that collision of styles, influences and genres her own unique take.

After releasing her debut The Elle King EP in 2012, King followed it up in 2015 with Love Stuff, which contained the explosive hit single “Ex’s and Oh’s.” That song earned her two GRAMMY nominations, including Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance.

After learning about her two nominations in “Room 608 of the Hilton in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,” (her description) King spoke with Mix 104.1 about the anxiety-ridden lead-up to that recognition. She said, “Well, people write predictions of nominations and then you just kind of go crazy, and think about it endlessly, and you don’t sleep for days, and then you stay up and watch, and then Alicia Keys doesn’t say your name, and then you tell your mom that life is over, and then you realize that there are other things to be nominated for, and then you get two nominations, and life is great and it’s fine. That’s a normal way that things go.”

It’s sure to become normal if King keeps offering up gems like “Ex’s and Oh’s.”


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