Saturday, August 26th ~
With her 2015 debut album Love Stuff, Elle King came across as an Americanized spin on Amy Winehouse, cutting her retro-soul with a dose of rousing blues-rock. This blend crystalized on "Ex's & Oh's," which topped the Billboard Rock chart in 2014 on its way to cracking the Top Ten on the Hot 100. King responded to the success of "Ex's & Oh's" by expanding her musical reach, collaborating with everybody from country star Dierks Bentley to rapper Wiz Khalifa. Shake the Spirit, her 2018 sophomore set, crackled with this sense of sonic adventure but after her Miranda Lambert duet became a number one country hit -- and her first single to reach the Top 40 since "Ex's & Oh's" -- King moved firmly in a country direction with her 2023 album Come Get Your Wife.
Elle King was born Tanner Elle Schneider in 1989 in Los Angeles, the daughter of London King and Rob Schneider (actor, comedian, and former cast member of Saturday Night Live). She grew up in Ohio, and after hearing the all-girl pop-punk band the Donnas when she was nine years old, she decided she wanted to be a singer and musician. By 13 she was playing guitar, later adding banjo to her skill set. King began street busking and gigging around New York at the age of 16, moving to Philadelphia to attend the University of Arts, where she majored in painting and film. During that time, she acted in films including 2009's Wild Cherry. After college, she spent time in Copenhagen and Los Angeles before returning to New York to settle in Brooklyn.
Signing to RCA Records, King released a four-song EP, The Elle King EP, in 2012. Her debut album, Love Stuff, followed in 2015. It included the single "Ex's & Oh's," which reached the top of Billboard's Alternative Songs chart and helped Love Stuff place as high as number 28 on the Billboard 200 in addition to number seven in Canada. In 2016, she recorded a duet with Dierks Bentley, "Different for Girls," that appeared on his album Black. The track was released as a single and rose to number one on the Country Airplay chart. It was later nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and won a Country Music Association trophy for Best Vocal Event of the Year.
October 2018 saw the arrival of Shake the Spirit, King's second long-player. It peaked at number 68 on the U.S. album chart (and a notch higher in Canada) while landing in the Top Three of Billboard's Americana/Folk Albums chart and the Top Ten of the rock and alternative charts. Late the following year, she released a Christmas song, "Under the Mistletoe," with Ronnie Spector before delivering "Best of You," a duet with Andy Grammer, in 2020. That year, she also issued the three-track EP In Isolation and appeared as a singer in the film Love, Weddings & Other Disasters.
In 2021, King had a platinum-selling single with "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)," a duet with Miranda Lambert that became a crossover hit, reaching 37 on the Hot 100, number four on the Rock charts, and number one on Billboard's Country charts. This success helped push King in a country direction, a move she telegraphed on a series of singles released throughout 2022, a streak that included the Dierks Bentley duet "Worth a Shot," "Out Yonder," and "Try Jesus." She also released a handful of non-LP singles during this period, including a Nile Rodgers collaboration called "Honky Tonk Disco Nights," plus "Feelin' Alright" and "I Know Where I've Been," which were pulled from the films The Bad Guys and Luckiest Girl Alive, respectively. "Tulsa" heralded the January 2023 release of Come Get Your Wife, the album where Elle King showcased her country makeover.