Solána Imani Rowe, known professionally as SZA, is an American singer and songwriter.
Solána Imani Rowe was born on November 8, 1989, in St. Louis, Missouri, and raised in Maplewood, New Jersey. Her father was an executive producer at CNN, while her mother was an executive at AT&T. Rowe was born to a Christian mother and a Muslim father. She has an older half-sister named Tiffany Daniels and an older brother, Daniel, a rapper named Manhattan. She was raised as a Muslim.
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It’s like the belief in one God, all the pillars of Islam et cetera, and I think those are ideas that will never leave me, those make sense in my spirit. It’s the way that I connect with God; it has always made sense to me. I think I would love to wear my hijab but I feel like I don’t wanna wear my hijab and talk crazy on stage and be in videos with Travis Scott. Like I don’t wanna be disrespectful because I have too much love and respect for the religion, for my father, and for myself.
She attended a Muslim prep school every day after her regular schooling. However, due to the September 11 attacks, Rowe was subjected to bullying in 7th grade, leading her to stop wearing her hijab. Rowe attended Columbia High School, where she was active in sports, including gymnastics and cheerleading. After graduating from high school in 2008, Rowe later went to three separate colleges, finally settling at Delaware State University to study marine biology. She eventually dropped out in her last semester; however, she immediately started taking on random jobs in order to make money. Rowe formed her stage name from the Supreme Alphabet, taking influence from rapper RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan. The last two letters in her name stand for Zig-Zag and Allah, while the first letter S can mean either savior or sovereign.
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She began making music in the early 2010s, releasing two extended plays before signing with the hip hop record label Top Dawg Entertainment, through which she released Z, her third EP and first retail release.
Throughout her career, SZA has earned one Grammy Award from fourteen nominations, a Golden Globe nomination, and an Academy Award nomination. She has earned one American Music Award, one Billboard Music Award, two MTV Video Music Awards, two BET Awards, including Best New Artist in 2018, and received the “Rulebreaker Award” at the Billboard Women in Music event in 2018. SZA also won the Soul Train Music Award for Best New Artist in 2017.
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