Lizzo Gets Candid About Sleeping In Her Car And Having Other ‘Traumatic’ Experiences Before Finding Fame

Lizzo on stage in Love, Lizzo doc
(Image credit: HBO Max)

Lizzo is currently doing it all. The “About Damn Time” singer released her chart-topping fourth studio album, Special, over the summer and has been touring her new music (and performing alongside Chris Evans cutouts), but that’s far from all of it. This year alone, she also hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time, got herself halfway to EGOT status, launched her shapewear brand, Yitty, and now has an HBO documentary called Love, Lizzo, which tracks her journey to fame. As the honest release tells it, the entertainer didn't find fame easily and, along the way, she slept in her car and experienced some "traumatic" moments.

In Love, Lizzo, which is now streamable with an HBO Max subscription, the singer and rapper recalls a time when she was couch surfing and oftentimes, sleeping in her car, even during one Thanksgiving holiday. When the Grammy winner recently looked back at that very different time in her life, she spoke to what all of the hardships mean to her now. She said this: 

The place it holds is trauma. Traumatic experiences, man. But they also propelled me and got me out of — I didn't want to stay there. I had to evolve, I had to grow, I had to get better. I don't think about it often, but recently I thought about it a lot where I'm having this full-circle moment of like, wow, I'm in my house that I've purchased and I'm watching this documentary about my life, talking about when I was sleeping in my car and on Thanksgiving. It's very cyclical and full-circle. This is also the first time I've owned a house and loved where I've lived. Two years ago I was in a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Echo Park. And then I had like a rental house as of December 2019. But this is really being a grown-up. I feel like I got my big-girl pants on and I feel like this is a new place for me, actually feeling safe in the space that I'm occupying. So it's a big deal. It's something worth celebrating, for sure.

During her interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lizzo noted that those times in her life were really traumatic for her but also helped lead her to the success that she has today. This year, the star celebrates Thanksgiving in her own house, which is reportedly worth $24 million. Per Harper’s Bazaar, the Los Angeles home formerly belonged to Harry Styles, who the pop star is friendly with. Though the Watch Out for the Big Grrrls producer would neither confirm nor deny her abode's connection to Styles while talking to EW.

But she did share that just a few years ago she lived in a smaller space than she does now, as she previously rented a small apartment before renting a home for some time. As the “Good As Hell” artist now reportedly reps a net worth of $12 million, she had to level up a lot in life to get where she is. 

Lizzo has been pursuing music her whole life, picking up a flute in fifth grade and playing the instrument in her high school marching band. When she was a teen, she and her friends also had a musical group called the Cornrow Clique. While attending college at the University of Houston, she studied classical music, with a concentration on flute, per Biography.  

During her early ‘20s, the fashion mogul decided to drop out of college to focus on breaking into the music industry. At that time, she lived in her car in Houston and oftentimes showered at the gym. All the while, her family, who had relocated to Denver at the time, had a tragedy befall them when her father died. By her mid-twenties, she began recording albums and in 2019 she had her massive viral moment that made her the globally known pop star she is now. The road has definitely been rough for her but, as a result, her come-up in the entertainment industry has been all the more satisfying.

After you watch the latest music documentary about an iconic Black artist, mark your calendar for the music special Lizzo: Live In Concert, which hits HBO Max this New Year’s Eve.  

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.