Billboard is celebrating the 2010s with essays on the 100 songs that we feel most define the decade that was -- the songs that both shaped and reflected the music and culture of the period -- with help telling their stories from some of the artists, behind-the-scenes collaborators and industry insiders involved.
Before she was Lizzo, Melissa Jefferson was a freshman at University of Houston, studying the classical flute by day and teaching herself to sing by copying Beyoncé’s B’day album by night. A decade later, things came full circle at Los Angeles’ Echoplex in 2017 where Jefferson, now under her current moniker, was playing.
Among the audience was a young songwriter named Jesse Saint John, who thought to himself: “Oh my God. This is a Beyoncé show in a basement.” Within weeks, “Truth Hurts” -- a snarky, eminently quotable anthem about self-love and the unofficial new theme song for the Minnesota Vikings -- was born.