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CARLIE HANSON.

Taylor Swift’s a fan, and you will be too.

Photography Jakub Koziel / / Fashion Umar Sarwar / / Words Sam Damshenas Hair Carl Campbell / / Makeup Ana Takahashi Fashion Assistant Miranda Mikkola

In just over two years, Carlie Hanson has become - cliche statement alert! - one to watch in the pop landscape. At just 19-years-old, the American singer-songwriter and skateboarder has toured with queer megastars such as Troye Sivan, Kim Petras and Yungblood, amassed over 70 million streams with her infectious alt-pop anthems and has even been championed on numerous occasions by Taylor Swift. “It’s surreal, I have no words for it”, she tells us of her breakout success (in her distinctive Wisconsin twang). “I have written tattoos for fans and I’ve seen them after. It’s like, ‘Holy shit! You totally have my handwriting on your body for the rest of your life.’ I cannot comprehend that.”

How did her journey start? Well stay tuned, because we’re going to tell you: according to her mum, Carlie first became infected with the performance bug at three-years-old, when she flicked on the telly and came across the music video to Destiny’s Child’s 2000 empowerment anthem Survivor. “I would always sing it. I was always doing shows in my living room to my family”, she recalls. “Ever since I was little, there was nothing else I wanted to do. I was a show-off, the funny one in the group. I always wanted the attention. That never went away!” Although she never pursued any musical endeavours at high school such as choir or theatre, Carlie’s passion for music lived on. She always dreamt of becoming a star, but thanks to her rural upbringing of Onalaska, Wisconsin, Carlie never thought it would become a reality. “It’s the middle of nowhere. It’s Midwest!” she laughs. “There was nothing there to help me do what I wanted to do. Also the high school I went to and the kind of people I was surrounded by weren’t my favourites. It was a prison. I wanted to get out of there. I needed to go somewhere with more… more everything.”

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About Gay Times

JODIE HARSH Join her in conversation with friend Nick Grimshaw on partying with the likes of Amy Winehouse and Madonna, stepping into the world of music with an album all of her own, and why she refuses to let her drag lose its punk edge. HONEY DIJON Get to know the recipient of our 2019 GAY TIMES Honour for Outstanding Impact who's been making waves in the industry for decades and bringing more than just excellent beats to our clubs. RYAN RUSSELL Earlier this year, Ryan Russell made history when he came out as bisexual. The free agent – who has played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – became not only the first openly LGBTQ player at the professional level of American football but also the first openly LGBTQ athlete across all major professional leagues in the United States.