The singer Janelle Monae is a figure whose whole persona is shrouded in intrigue. From her tone to her sense of dress to her sexuality, everything about her seems simply nonconformist. Stereotypes just don’t work for her. With her active imagination and her ever-evolving creative talents, Janelle has successfully created an alter ego that enchants her fan base with her style and keeps them captivated in her sci-fi twists and turns.
Janelle Monáe was born on December 1, 1985, in Kansas City, Kansas, the daughter of a janitorial mother and father who worked as garbage truck drivers but struggled with drug addiction throughout her childhood.
The struggles of the Quindaro working-class community where she grew up have become an inspiration to her, and the depravity, crime, and poverty that prevail in the area have become a motivation for Janelle.
As a young girl, it was easy to recognize Monáe as a highly artistic and intelligent child. Janelle was an excellent singer and performer in the local Baptist church. Her impressive writing skills led her to join the Round Table of Young Playwrights at the Coterie Theater in Kansas City, where she wrote full-length plays and musicals.
Janelle Monae attended the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy, New York on a scholarship to study musical theater, but her adventure at the Academy did not last long as she felt creatively stifled. She wanted more space to explore her creative ideas beyond the confines of a classroom.
Music and Style
In 2001 she left New York and went to Atlanta, where she worked in an office depot to earn a living. She squatted in a cramped pension while she produced a demo CD entitled Janelle Monáe herself: The Audition.
While she was on tour promoting her music, she founded the label Wondaland Arts Society together with Chuck Lightning and Nate Wonder. In 2005, at the age of 20, she was discovered by Big Boi (a member of the hip-hop duo Outkast) when she performed Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” at an open mic night.
Impressed by her performance on OutKast, Monáe appeared on two tracks of the album Idlewild, Time Will Reveal, and Lettin’ and later Call the Law and In Your Dreams. News of her creative talent reached the famous P. Diddy (Sean “Puffy” Combs), who signed Monáe to his Bad Boy Records label and released and promoted her EP.
Janelle Monáe dropped her long-awaited debut album The ArchAndroid on May 18th, 2010. On the album, she unleashed all her childhood fantasies and created her alter ego Cindi Mayweather – a robot from 2719. Cindy is a messianic figure for the Android community, who is on the run after breaking the law by falling in love with a human.
The album had popular singles like Cold War, Tightrope, and Come Alive. The album peaked at number 17 on Billboard’s US album charts and earned Janelle a Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Album.
Her second album, The Electric Lady, released in 2013, had performances with established names such as Miguel, Solange, Prince, and Erykah Badu. The album also continued with the stories of Cindi Mayweather and her adventures as an imaginary Sci-Fi character. The album climbed to number 5 in the Billboard Top 200.
On April 27, 2018, Janelle released her third full album Dirty Computer, previously she had released two new singles, Make Me Feel and Django Jane. The album peaked at number six on the US Billboard 200.
In addition to music, Janelle Monae has explored acting and impressed with her performances in Rio 2, where she appeared as Dr. Monae (voice), and in Moonlight 2016, where she played Teresa. She also appeared in Hidden Figures as Mary Jackson.
Janelle’s sense of fashion is very interesting, you see her almost always dressed in a black and white tuxedo during all her stage appearances and excursions. She wears this outfit out of solidarity with her parents, who also wore uniforms to work as a janitor and driver.
Is Janelle Monae Gay or Lesbian?
Janelle Monae’s sexual orientation has always been a source of intrigue, until her interview with Rolling Stone in 2018, in which she said that she sees herself as someone who has been in relationships with both men and women, identifying herself as pansexual, which means she is attracted to people of all genders.
Does She Have A Husband, Boyfriend?
Janelle once said in an interview with London Evening Standard 2011 that she “only dates androids”, a species that matches her alter ego, Cindy Mayweather. Although she herself is attracted to both sexes, Janelle has kept the people she has had a love affair with strictly under wraps. One name floated around, as her partner is the actress Tessa Thompson. There is no official confirmation of a relationship between the two parties.