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  • Thu. May 23rd, 2024
Melanie Martinez_inPixioMelanie Martinez_inPixio

Last Updated on 2 May 2024 by Erotica Pleasure

Melanie Adele Martinez is an American singer, songwriter and photographer. Martinez rose to fame in 2012 after appearing on season 3 of the American television talent show The Voice. Following the show, she was signed to Atlantic Records and released her debut single “Dollhouse“, followed by her debut extended play of the same name (2014).

Martinez later released her debut studio album, Cry Baby (2015), which went on to be certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album amassed numerous commercially successful singles including “Pity Party“, “Soap” and “Mrs. Potato Head“. She has since released two follow-up albums: K–12 (2019) and Portals (2023).

Easily recognized by her colorful two-toned hair and bangs, Martinez’s visual style plays an important part in her music videos and performances. She came to fame cultivating a doll-like look complemented by babydoll dresses and emotional facial expressions. She likes to choose a theme for each album and tie all the music videos for the album together to create a greater narrative.

Nickname: Mel
Years active: 2012–present
Born Age: April 28, 1995, 29 years old and 0 months, Astoria, Queens, New York City, NY, USA
Sun Sign: Taurus
Eye Color: Dark brown
Hair Color: Dark brown
Height: 5′ 2″ – 1.57 m
Measurements: 33-24-31 in – 84-61-81 cm
Bra size: 32C (US) / 70C (EU)
Genres: Pop, alternative pop, electropop, art pop, art rock, indie-pop
Instruments: Vocals, guitar

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Early life

Melanie Adele Martinez was born to parents Mery and Jose Martinez, who are of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent. Her family moved to Baldwin, New York, on Long Island, when Martinez was four.

Martinez attended Plaza Elementary School, crediting her teacher Mr. Nadien with teaching her how to sing, and in kindergarten, Martinez began writing poetry. Martinez says she had few friends growing up and was a homebody, as she was “very emotional” and found it difficult to explain her feelings, crying when overwhelmed. She practiced photography and painting. Due to her emotionality as a child, she says that others referred to her as a “cry baby”, which sparked the creation of the titular character of her debut album, Cry Baby.

Martinez grew up in a “traditional Latin household” where she was made to feel shameful about talking about her sexuality and felt as if she would not be accepted if she came out as bisexual. She says that her family is now fully accepting of her sexuality.

At fourteen, Martinez taught herself how to play guitar by studying chord diagrams of songs she enjoyed, which she found online, and wrote her first song by adding her poetry to one of the chord diagrams, but says that playing guitar “eventually got stale”. Martinez graduated from Baldwin High School.

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singer Melanie Martinez

Career

2012–2014: Breakthrough with The Voice and Dollhouse EP

In 2012, during her junior year of high school, Martinez participated in the MSG Varsity Talent Show, a televised talent competition. She sang the Beatles‘ rendition of “Money (That’s What I Want)” by Barrett Strong and “Shake Me, Wake Me (When It’s Over)” by the Four Tops. She was eliminated in the second round.

Martinez then auditioned for the third season of The Voice. She had not watched the show herself prior to the audition. The initial, untelevised audition was an open call, held at Javits Center. She recalls that while she and her mother were driving to the audition, her mother’s car broke down before they reached the Queens–Midtown Tunnel, and the two were forced to “hitchhike” a taxicab in order to get there. Several months after the initial audition, while at Roosevelt Field Mall, Martinez received word that she had advanced to the “second round”. She then received multiple callbacks until she was finally selected to audition on the show itself. Martinez auditioned singing Britney Spears‘s “Toxic” with three of the four judges (Adam LevineCeeLo Green and Blake Shelton) hitting their “I Want You” button. Martinez ultimately chose Adam Levine to be her coach.

In the Battle Round, Martinez competed against Caitlin Michele. They performed a duet of the Ellie Goulding song “Lights“. Martinez won and moved on to the Knockout Round. Michele was stolen by Cee Lo Green and also moved on. In the Knockout Round, Martinez was paired with Sam James. She chose to sing La Roux‘s “Bulletproof“. Levine eliminated James, and Martinez moved on to the Live Rounds as one of the five remaining members of Team Adam. In week one of the Live Rounds, Martinez sang “Hit the Road Jack“. Public vote saved Team Adam members Amanda Brown and Bryan Keith. Levine then chose Martinez over Loren Allred and Joselyn Rivera to remain in the competition. In week three, Martinez’s performance of “Seven Nation Army” finished the voting period at #10 on the iTunes Top 200 Single Chart, causing her iTunes votes to be multiplied by ten. This occurred again in week four, when “Too Close” ended the voting period at #6.

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Martinez was eliminated by audience vote in week five, along with the fellow Team Adam member Amanda Brown, leaving Levine with no artists. In response, Martinez said, “I never expected to get this far and this is beyond what I’ve ever dreamed of. I’m just so glad I got to express who I am as an artist and really touch people’s hearts because that was the ultimate goal”.

After the show, Martinez began working independently on original material, which she says she spent the majority of 2013 writing. She released her debut single, “Dollhouse”, on February 9, 2014. She later compared the song’s story to Edward Scissorhands, saying “[It’s] the perfect home with the perfect lawn and they all look the same. But behind each house there’s a screwed up group of people who are hiding behind wealth and perfection.” Martinez also released a music video for the track, which was fan-funded by an Indiegogo page created by Martinez, and hair, makeup, and shooting were all done by friends of hers.The song was produced and cowritten by NYC songwriting duo Kinetics & One Love.

On April 7, 2014, Martinez signed to Atlantic Records and released her debut EP, Dollhouse, a month later on May 19, 2014. The only single from the EP, “Carousel”, reached number nine on the Alternative Digital Songs chart, was certified gold by the RIAA, and featured in a preview for FX’s miniseries American Horror Story: Freak Show. She promoted the EP with the Dollhouse Tour which lasted from June 2014 to March 2015.

2015–2022: Cry BabyPiggyback, K–12 and After School EP

On June 1, 2015, Martinez released the single “Pity Party“, which sampled Lesley Gore‘s “It’s My Party“. This was followed by the album’s second single, “Soap“. The song reached number twelve on the Alternative Digital Songs chart, and number sixteen on the Pop Digital Songs chart. The third single, “Sippy Cup”, followed on July 31. Cry Baby, her debut album, was released on August 14, 2015, to moderate critical acclaim and debuted at number 6 on the Billboard 200. The album was certified Platinum by the RIAA on February 24, 2017. Martinez went on the Cry Baby Tour to promote the album, which lasted from 2015 to 2017.

In May 2016, Martinez released her second EP, Pity Party, in Ireland, Mexico and the UK exclusively. A month later, Martinez said she had started working on and recording her second album. In November 2016, Martinez released her third EP, Cry Baby’s Extra Clutter, a physical vinyl release of the bonus tracks from Cry Baby as well as “Gingerbread Man”, a Christmas-themed single which was initially released in December 2015 on SoundCloud but later released as a solo single in January 2016.

In October 2016, Martinez released a commercial for her fragrance, Cry Baby Perfume Milk, noting that the “idea for this perfume has been cultivating in my brain since the moment I finished writing” Cry Baby. The perfume was directly distributed by Martinez’s record label, Atlantic, making them the first record label to distribute a fragrance. Martinez also collaborated with cosmetics company Lime Crime, Inc. to release two “exclusive” lipsticks: a blue lipstick called “Cry Baby” on August 17, 2015, and a brown lipstick called “Teddy Bear” on March 9, 2016.

On December 22, 2017, Melanie Martinez released the song “Piggyback” on SoundCloud, believed to reflect on allegations made by her former friend, Timothy Heller. Heller accused Martinez of sexual assault via Twitter on 4 December 2017, which Martinez strongly denied, asserting that any intimacy was consensual. In a review of Martinez’s third album, Portals, Sam Franzini of The Line of Best Fit wrote that the album track “Battle of the Larynx” is “a five-minute saga detailing serious accusations leveled against her”.

On May 15, 2019, Martinez released a teaser trailer for her second album, K–12 which was eventually released on September 6, 2019, and debuted at number 3 on Billboard 200. The album was accompanied by a musical fantasy horror film, which was written and directed by Martinez. In an interview with People, Martinez alluded to future sequels and visual albums being released. The album was promoted with the K–12 Tour began on October 13, 2019, in Washington, D.C. and concluded prematurely on February 17, 2020, in Brixton, England due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In January 2020, Martinez announced she was working on an EP titled After School, which was then set to be released in the spring of 2020 and serve as the deluxe edition of K–12. On February 10, 2020, Martinez released a stand-alone single, “Copy Cat” which featured Tierra Whack, marking Martinez’s first feature. Martinez later released a second single from the EP, “Fire Drill”, on June 26, 2020, which had previously featured in the credits of the K–12 film. Both songs were not included on After School, which was eventually delayed and released on September 25, 2020.

In April 2020, “Play Date” became one of the top 100 most-played songs on Spotify in the US after gaining popularity on TikTok. In 2021, Martinez featured on Forbes’ Under 30 list.

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2023–present: Portals

On February 18, 2023, after archiving all her Instagram posts, Martinez teased her third studio album, Portals. The album was released on March 31, 2023, and was promoted with the singles, “Death” and “Void” which charted at number 95 and 61 respectively, marking her first original appearances on the Billboard Hot 100. She embarked on the Portals Tour in May 2023. Martinez was nominated for the VMA’s Best Visual Effects, for the music for her single “Void”. She was eventually defeated by Taylor Swift in the final round, losing to Anti-Hero.

In November 2023, Martinez announced the launch of Portals Perfume, a collection of four fragrances developed in collaboration with indie perfumery Flower Shop Perfumes. The collection launched in a sculptural vessel modeled after Martinez’s four eyed “Cry Baby” alter ego which houses all four fragrances and retails for $275.

In December 2023, Melanie Martinez released her third Music Video, Tunnel Vision. The video was directed by Melanie Martinez and produced by the company DojoHouse.

In February 2024, the music video for Faerie Soirée was released.

Artistry

Musical style

Martinez’s music has been described as pop, alternative pop, art pop, electropop, and dark popCry Baby and K–12 were seen to have hip hop and R&B undertones. Portals saw Melanie venturing into experimental sounds and pop-rock. Martinez’s music has been described by The Guardian as “off-kilter, sweary electropop“. Rolling Stone described Martinez’s music as “twisted lullabies about love, danger and madness”, and compared her music to that of “‘Coin-Operated Boy‘-era Dresden Dolls” and Lana Del ReyThe New York Times‘s Jon Pareles described her music as “perch[ing] prettily tinkling keyboards and concise pop choruses amid the slow, ominous basslines and twitchy percussion of Southern hip-hop – a candy-coated variation on the dirges of Lorde and Lana Del Rey”, and described her mezzo-soprano voice as “whispery, sardonic, tearful, [and] furious”. Billboard‘s Jason Lipshutz also compared Martinez to Del Rey and Lorde, saying, “Martinez is clearly cribbing from the dimly lit pop stylings of Lorde and Lana Del Rey, but while her wispy delivery strikes the same femme fatale poses, she lacks the subtlety of her influences”, and that “Martinez is admirably ambitious, but her insistence on sticking to Cry Babys central idea leaves her contorting into uncomfortable positions”.

Martinez describes her alter ego and the protagonist of her debut album, Cry Baby, as a “fairy tale” version of herself. Martinez’s songs are often based on personal experiences. Martinez described her own music as “very dark and honest” and “hip hop/trap inspired beats with creepy nostalgic childlike sounds such as baby pianos, music boxes, and toys”.

Influences

Martinez listened to Christina AguileraBrandyBritney SpearsThe BeatlesTupac ShakurShakira, and Biggie Smalls growing up, and wanted to be a singer from a young age. Martinez has cited The Beatles, Neutral Milk HotelFeistKimbraZooey DeschanelRegina Spektor, and CocoRosie as influences of hers. Specific albums which have influenced her music include The Idler Wheel… by Fiona Apple and Ariana Grande‘s albums Yours Truly and My Everything. She attributes the “heavy hip-hop influence” in her music to her father playing hip-hop music in the family’s house often during her childhood.

The visuals in Martinez’s music videos have been influenced by her favorite visual artists: Mark RydenAleksandra Waliszewska and Nicoletta Ceccoli. She named Tim Burton as a large influence of hers, and has said that to make a movie with him would be her “one dream”.

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Public image

At age sixteen, after watching 101 Dalmatians (1996), Martinez dyed half of her hair blonde, in the same vein as Cruella de Vil. She became known for the look, as well as her “baby doll”-inspired outfits in music videos and when performing. The Guardian has called her image “doll-like and decidedly emo […] hyperreal” while her music is best known to be “part-nursery rhyme, part tragic life story”.

Sexual assault allegation

On December 4, 2017, Timothy Heller, a woman with whom Martinez once shared a friendship, alleged via Twitter that Martinez had sexually assaulted and raped her. The following day, Martinez tweeted a response to Heller’s accusations, saying the allegations “horrified and saddened” her, and that Heller “never said no to what [they] chose to do together”. On December 9, 2017, Martinez released a second statement, thanking her fans for citing Heller’s “false statements”. She concluded the statement with: “…I would never be intimate with someone without their absolute consent.” Martinez released the song “Piggyback” on SoundCloud, an act believed to be in response to Heller’s accusations. In a review of Martinez’s third album, Portals, Sam Franzini of The Line of Best Fit wrote that the album track “Battle of the Larynx” is “a five-minute saga detailing serious accusations leveled against her”.

Trivia

Her mom, Mery is of Dominican descent & her dad, Jose is of Puerto Rican descent.

Due to her emotional state as a child, she claims to have been referred to as a “cry baby” by others, which sparked the creation of the titular character of her debut album, Cry Baby.

Has 36 tattoos displayed on her body, most of them are a reflection of her childhood interests.

Collects stuffed animals and toys from the ’50s and ’60s.

Is obsessed with vintage Garbage Pail Kids cards, Animal Rummy cards, and Valentine’s Day cards from the ’50s.

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