Betty Who?! The Ascent of an Inspiring Pop Icon

The towering pop star is beloved by L.A.’s musical elite. Will her fourth album break her into the big time?
221

BETTY WHO is done hiding. With her fourth pop album, BIG!, the Aussie entertainer flaunts self-acceptance and depth. “BIG! is a metaphor for the kind of person you want to be,” she says.

The title refers to the struggles Who, 31, has endured in an industry that worships pint-size, female bodies. At six-foot-two, she says she’s long tried to shrink to win gigs and plaudits. But now, as she sings on her anthemic opener, “You can’t make me smaller, you’ll never make me fit. I was born to be big.”

If chasing industry approval leads to art that risks sounding generic or derivative, BIG! opts for hyper specificity. Almost every track plays like a diary entry bearing a Who secret—from the catchy mover “She Can Dance” to the hushed confessional “Someone Else” to the bittersweet closer “Grown Ups Grow Apart.” “Betty’s inherently a storyteller,” says producer Elan Gale, who worked with Who when she hosted Amazon’s The One That Got Away. Whether Who is acting or hosting or writing or performing, “there’s always a path that she’s going to walk down with you.”

On BIG!, Who asks you to turn the object of your self-consciousness into a superpower. That’s what the album has done for her. When she sings—as you’ll see on tour in L.A. in April—she stands taller, her voice deepens, her shoulders relax. It’s “a different version of me,” she says.

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.

This story is featured in the November 2022 issue of Los Angeles

Los Angeles magazine, November 2022 cover