The Joy of Lizzo

She has become a new kind of pop superstar, full of relentless positivity. But it took a long time and a lot of heartache

Lizzo knows that security guard was checking her out. It’s a crisp November evening in downtown Los Angeles, and she just breezed through a Sam Ash music store to see if they had a flute-studies book by Danish composer-flutist Karl Joachim Andersen; she wants to get back to practicing the instrument she started playing in fifth grade. The door has barely closed behind her when Lizzo makes note of the guard’s not-so-subtle glance.

“He wanted to make sure he saw that thang twice!” she says, strutting down Sunset Boulevard in faux-snakeskin boots and a short, pinkish coral dress, and running her rhinestone-studded talons through her slick, wavy black hair.