Breakthrough Entertainer: Megan Thee Stallion feels grateful

Entertainment

This Nov. 20, 2019 photo shows Megan Thee Stallion posing for a portrait in New York. The rapper was named one of the breakthrough artists of the year by the Associated Press. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Megan Thee Stallion’s schedule has become so frenetic that she can spend days, or even longer, away from home, in a different city every night. While the grueling schedule may wear down some, she’s unbothered by it, and not because she’s as strong as her name suggests.

“I won’t complain because I remember I used to be at home wishing I was leaving and going to do shows,” said Megan, who was named one of AP’s 2019 Breakthrough Entertainers of the Year. “I’m just grateful for everything that happened this year, and the opportunities that a lot of people have given me.”

The rapper from Houston burst onto the music scene this year with her album, “Fever,” and instantly became a sensation. She racked up singles such as “Big Ole Freak,” “Cash (expletive)” with DaBaby, and her first No. 1 on Billboard’s Rhythmic Songs chart, “Hot Girl Summer.” The song, featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign, stemmed from a phrase Megan coined that became the hot phrase of the season.

Endorsements also blasted her way, including Coach, Puma and a management deal with the Jay-Z-founded Roc Nation. She also won an MTV Video Music Award, and just this month received the Powerhouse Award at Billboard’s Women in Music Awards.

“Every day, they tell me, ‘Megan you’re doing a good job,’” the 24-year-old said, referring to her team. “I’m like ‘Thank you,’ but I gotta work harder. I know I’m not where I want to be at yet, so I’m still trying to grind.”

The year of peaks was not without valleys, none lower than the loss of her mother in March. While she doesn’t talk about that in detail, Megan acknowledged: “This year has definitely been super crazy: a lot of ups, some downs.”

Some may consider her omission from the recent slate of Grammy nominees another disappointment, but Megan brushes it off.

“You’re not rapping because you want to win a Grammy. You’re rapping because you want to rap,” she said. “I don’t think you should have it in your mind when you’re in a studio like, ‘I’m going to write these bars because I’m going to win these Grammys.’ No! You’re writing these bars because you have a fan base.”

Focusing on awards or being No. 1 means “you lose the love and the passion for what you even started doing this for,” she said.

Currently enrolled at Houston’s Texas Southern, a historically black college and university, Megan also has married overt, unapologetic sex appeal with education, a combination rarely if ever seen in hip-hop. She’s put #HotGirlSummer on pause for #HotNerdFall and #HotGirlSemester.

“I really am kind of a little nerd, but I am very confident in myself and in my body,” she said, adding that she wasn’t trying to be a role model. “This is my regular life. But I’m really happy that it is inspiring girls, and it is making people want to further their education.”

Megan Thee Stallion also signed on to star in the new season of NBC’s “Good Girls,” and says she’d eventually like to write her own horror film. But her focus is on her debut album, which she says will go beyond the sexual imagery she’s known for.

“My album, the songs that I’ve been recording for it so far, have been way more soft than my usual music — a little soft in my opinion. It’s been a little more vulnerable,” she said. “I feel like that’s what my fans want to know at this point, so I’m giving y’all a little more insight on why I am the way I am.” ___

Follow AP entertainment journalist Gary Gerard Hamilton at twitter.com/GaryGHamilton ___

For more on AP’s 2019 class of Breakthrough Entertainers, please visit: https://apnews.com/APBreakthroughEntertainers

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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