Singer-Songwriter Elle King Dishes On Her Beauty Faves

And feminism in the music industry

Photographed by Samantha Casolari.

The following feature appears in the October 2016 issue of NYLON.

I’ve never seen someone light up a room quite like Elle King: The 27-year-old country-rock-pop singer bear-hugs me when I open the door to the Ludlow Hotel suite in Manhattan where we’re photographing her, grinning from ear to ear and clutching a sugar-free Red Bull as her big blue eyes (beneath matching blue hair) scan the room. “Do you mind if I have a cigarette really quickly?” she asks. This habit explains that charming rasp of hers, but the roughness in her voice is also a side effect from her performance just a few days ago at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, where she opened up for Lynyrd Skynyrd.

You probably recognize King from her Grammy-nominated song “Ex’s & Oh’s”—the first single off her album Love Stuff—which played nonstop on the radio and became a catchy, pop-rock girl-power anthem for women across the world (likely because it was based on true stories about three of her ex-boyfriends). Before we actually start talking, however, she kicks everyone out of the room. “Thanks guys, sorry, I get self-conscious,” she says. This seems strange considering that King had just been showing me a video of her and Dierks Bentley performing a duet in front of thousands of people at the CMT Music Awards (which aired to millions around the world), where she oozed nothing but confidence. The layers start to unfold.

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