Who is Betty Who and why should you be listening to her?
Betty who? Betty Who!
Betty is a stage name for Jessica Newham, an Australia pop singer and songwriter.
Her debut single, 'Somebody Loves You,' was used as part of a viral proposal video that Spencer Stout uploaded when asking his boyfriend to marry him.
This catapulted Betty into the LGBTQ+ community who have been supporting her ever since. After initially releasing her first EP The Movement independently as a free download—the success of the proposal video led to Betty signing to RCA Records.
After signing with RCA, Betty released a second EP, Slow Dancing, and the first single Heartbreak Dream was included in the soundtrack for Pitch Perfect 2. She released her debut full-length album Take Me When You Go in 2014, and supported Katy Perry on the Australian leg of the Prismatic World Tour, and Kylie Minogue on her Kiss Me Once Tour.
Betty also appeared as a featuring artist on Troye Sivan's debut album, Blue Neighbourhood, on the track Heaven—a song aimed towards the LGBTQ+ community as Sivan questions religious views on homosexuality.
Betty's cover of Donna Lewis' I Love You Always Forever became her third number one on the Billboard Dance Chart and eased her into a new era in which she released her second studio album The Valley.
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My baby The Valley came out one year ago today. So many hours of indecision and doubt and joy and heartache and love and passion went into this album. And now, on the other side of it all, it is the thing I am most proud of. I am proud of myself for finishing it and staying true to my vision. I am so grateful for every person who put their heart on this record. It shows. Most of all I am so thankful to you for taking this hugely powerful piece of my life and weaving it into the most important moments of yours. From marriage proposals to first dances to long open roads to heartbreak. Thank you for listening. ❤️
In 2017, Betty parted ways from RCA and decided to go back to releasing music independently, noting how having the pressure of success from the label and having other people build up expectations of her music was exhausting.
Betty began to independently release singles such as Ignore Me, Look Back and Taste in 2018, as well as singing the new theme song for season two of Queer Eye. She released an EP in June, called Betty Pt. 1.
Betty supported a leg of Panic at the Disco's Pray for the Wicked Tour and in February, Betty released Betty—her third studio album—which was given a five-star review and Gay Times hailed it as 'pop perfection' and compared it to Carly Rae Jepsen's Emotion, which is well-known for its acclaim amongst the LGBTQ+ community. Betty also isn't afraid of flaunting her sexuality, with sexually liberating songs such as Taste and All This Woman putting Betty in her element, where she isn't afraid to show you exactly who she is.
What does Betty Who mean to me?
I first heard of Betty Who after watching Pitch Perfect 2, I was just chilling during the credits when I heard the absolute bop Heartbreak Dream, I thought wow what a tune, added it to my Spotify playlist and thought nothing else about Betty....until I heard her on Troye Sivan's Heaven—and was instantly like oh ok, time to start listening. At this point in her career, only Take Me When You Go had been released. I'm a sucker for a sad song, so California Rain really resonated with me. When I came out to my parents and life was a little bit of a mess, I didn't really know how to deal with my emotions—but listening to California Rain (on repeat) really helped me to express the built up emotion I had been carrying for years. Thankfully, that depressing spell has passed and you'll find me bopping along to songs like Mama Say in the shower, the car and pretty much whenever I'm listening to music.
I had the pleasure if seeing Betty at Bush Hall, London in May 2018. I saw her outside the venue but was too nervous to go up and say hi to her (which I now really regret). We queued for HOURS and managed to make front row. The venue was only small, so the stage was practically at my waist and wow, it felt like I was essentially dancing with Betty. We had eye contact, a little moment of dancing TOGETHER—it was pure magic.
What does Betty Who mean to other fans?
Betty set up a Facebook group, Who Crew (the name of her fan-base) where fans have a community to share their love for the artist, as well as images from any of her concerts, any merch they have bought or even just to discuss new music or news. I asked the members of this group to share what Betty means to them. Here are a few responses I've picked out:
"I’ve been listening to Betty since DSW aired Somebody Loves You in their commercial. Her two EP’s were my summer playlist and I couldn’t stop listening. Betty’s music has helped me through so much in my life and meeting her in person was more than anything I had hoped for. She is so genuine to her fans and her talent never ceases to amaze me. I can’t wait to see what she does next!" - Dan Kieffer
"I love this woman's personality and her love for her fans. The energy she gives and receives is amazing. You can tell that she truly appreciates the support and love we give to her. That's why I am so drawn to her. It makes me feel good that I am one of her fans. Her music is very emotional and I love that she is able to take you on that journey with her. I seriously cannot wait to meet this woman." - Mariah Longhway
"Betty and her music is my life she has helped me through depression, anxiety and two toxic breakups without her energy I'm not sure where I would be in life right now" - Devon Johnson
"I've spent a majority of my life outcast for being plus size, 5'10" as a woman, and for being queer. Betty makes me feel so good about my body. Seeing her on stage and watching her dance and owning her sexuality has been life-changing for me. Not to mention the way that she advocates for queer people and works to protect us and bring us joy and affirmation. She validates so much of who I am by being who she is and being so fearless and confident. She is vulnerable with us, too, and she lets us see that it hasn't been easy to live authentically all the time, so it's so incredible to have someone to look to and know that life IS hard and we can still rock it." - Samm Newman
"Betty Who means the world to me. I discovered her music a few years ago and shortly went to my first show of hers. I was not prepared for the love and acceptance of her fan-base and band. Eighteen shows later, and I'm hooked. Betty promotes positivity and confidence through her amazing pop bops. I know she has a bright future ahead of her, and I'm along for the ride!" - Rebecca Coutcher (she runs a fan account @bettywhoisdaddy on Instagram).
"Betty Who was one of the three artists that really helped me after being diagnosed with Pseudotumor cerebri. She made me happy when I could hardly see straight, she gave me relief. I fell in love with her music and started watching interviews just to get to know her personality and she brought me so much joy. She was such an incredible, uplifting, inspiring distraction from what was really going on with my health. I just want to say this: thank you from the bottom of my heart, Betty. You're killin' it! I can't wait to see how far you go, you deserve the world!" - Josh Kaczmarek
Fans get the chance to meet Betty at her shows, as the majority of them include Meet and Greet packages. This is an amazing opportunity for fans to tell Betty what she means to them, as well as getting some cute pics and valuable time to spend with their fave!
To conclude—Betty Who is an icon, and is only getting bigger and bigger in the music industry.