Bishop Briggs unleashed her sophomore album, CHAMPION, on the world today. Spilling her all into the conceptual release, the vocalist certainly doesn’t hold back in anything she does. Taking that same sentiment to everything she does, Briggs continues to inspire and grow.
In celebration of the Church Of Scars follow-up, here’s 10 times Briggs proved she’s a total champion.
1. She breaks down genre walls
Briggs has leaned into an alternative sound on both of her albums while also incorporating pop elements and gospel roots. The singer opened up to AltPress about straying from the confines of genre barriers in 2018 ahead of Church Of Scars. “I think we live in a really cool time where there are so many different genres,” Briggs says. “There are artists dipping their toe in so many genres at once, and I hope that when people listen to the music, they connect to it in some way. I think lyric-wise, that’s always been the start to all of this for me. It was pen to paper.”
2. She shaved her head in solidarity with an ill friend
A few ppl have been asking about me shaving my head & this was inspired by my dear friend and makeup guru (@araxjan on insta)who just started chemo. I thought this was something small I could do to show my support. I love you! Be sure to donate to the @SusanGKomen foundation 🌸💞 pic.twitter.com/osZYWIzRhC
— Bishop Briggs (@thatgirlbishop) November 1, 2018
Throughout her Church Of Scars era, Briggs became instantly recognizable for her space buns, which appeared in videos, concerts and more. In late October 2018, the vocalist shaved her entire head in solidarity with a sick friend and beauty and makeup guru, Arax. Done during a time that appropriately marks breast cancer awareness month, Briggs also directed fans to the Susan G. Komen foundation to donate and support.
3. She was the first woman to headline ALTer EGO
I WAS CRYING THEN & IM CRYING NOW https://t.co/ee7XrpFP8l
— Bishop Briggs (@thatgirlbishop) January 20, 2019
Briggs kicked off the year with a major accomplishment. The singer took the iHeart Radio ALTer EGO stage as its headliner, becoming the first woman to close out the event. She joined other favorites, including twenty one pilots, Muse, Weezer, Rise Against and the Killers. “Thank you so much,” Briggs said onstage during her set. “We only have two more songs, so I want whatever I say in this little moment important and hopefully special. But something that is really exciting that I just want to say ‘thanks’ for is—I’m the woman on this lineup. I’m gonna try not to cry.”
4. She donated her festival fees to an abortion relief fund
I encourage @Hangoutfest , all other artists playing and fans to do the same. This is our time to use our platforms and to be the change we want to see in the world.
— Bishop Briggs (@thatgirlbishop) May 16, 2019
Earlier this year, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion law. While it was just recently blocked in court, the initial announcement sparked outrage and action across the nation. Upon Ivey signing the bill, Briggs and alternative activist grandson both pledged to donate some of their Hangout Fest contract proceeds to the Yellowhammer Fund. The organization helps those living in Alabama offset the cost of an abortion.
5. When she flawlessly created a medley of scene favorites
— Bishop Briggs (@thatgirlbishop) October 3, 2019
Briggs has never been shy about her influences and favorite artists, specifically explaining her love of Panic! At The Disco and twenty one pilots (and geeking out like all of us when Brendon Urie said he loved her voice). As a result, it’s no surprise the vocalist would embrace her scene queen roots by mashing up those two artists with emo staples My Chemical Romance on her current tour. Broadcasting the music videos behind her, Briggs expertly blended “Stressed Out,” “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Welcome To The Black Parade.”
6. She’s not afraid to let the world know she’s sad
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SOMEONE ELSE IS OUT TONIGHT AT 9PM PT / 12AM ET 😪 This song is everything I was afraid to say out loud. I went to the corner of the room and wrote this down and my stomach plunged. The truth was right in front of me and all I wanted to do was ignore it. I was hoping my subconscious would tell me a different narrative but instead there it was, screaming at me. I have tried singing this live and it’s still really hard for me to not cry. “Someone Else” has offered me a lot of healing since that day. You are hearing the original vocal take where I was crying. It’s not perfect but it’s honest and it’s real. Thank you for taking the time to listen.
Briggs was incredibly transparent about her feelings with debut Church Of Scars, and the vocalist has only gotten even more so with the release of CHAMPION. Telling AltPress in issue #376 that she captured the grit of her emotions in one take for several tracks on the new album, Briggs expanded upon this on Instagram. “This song is everything I was afraid to say out loud,” she wrote upon the release of “Someone Else.” “I went to the corner of the room and wrote this down and my stomach plunged. The truth was right in front of me, and all I wanted to do was ignore it. I was hoping my subconscious would tell me a different narrative, but instead, there it was, screaming at me. I have tried singing this live, and it’s still really hard for me to not cry. ‘Someone Else’ has offered me a lot of healing since that day. You are hearing the original vocal take where I was crying. It’s not perfect, but it’s honest and it’s real. Thank you for taking the time to listen.”
Read more: 28 Halloween costumes your favorite musicians wore this year including Vic Fuentes, Bishop Briggs and more
7. She took that sadness and turned it into cathartic, relatable content
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I am so PROUD to announce that I have a NEW ALBUM COMING OUT ON NOV 8 and it's called…. CHAMPION and you can preorder it now! I truly feel like this is the most vulnerable music I've ever written. I decided to not hide behind my own metaphors and poetry and however difficult it was to write, I told the truth. I wrote this in the midst of a breakup and I truly felt so alone. In hindsight, I think I wrote the album that I needed to hear at that time. So, my hope is that it does the same for you. I hope this album can be the hand that wipes the tears from your cheeks, the shiver down your spine when you feel like yourself again, and the lightness in your spirit when you have closure…even if its just for a fleeting moment. Thank you for allowing me to be so vulnerable and I can’t wait for this to be in the world. I also released a new song called JEKYLL & HIDE today off the album. The title is spelt Hide not Hyde. GET IT!??! HEHE!!!! Word play gets me way too hype. I wrote this one with @kflay and it was produced by @iamjoellittle . In the chorus, we wrote "are you Jekyll & Hyde-ing me?" as a way to describe the chaotic feeling of dating someone who has two very different sides. I hope you like it. And if you don't, please don't tell me. I'm far too sensitive to hear that.
The openness doesn’t stop at the two one-take tracks as Briggs turned the entire album into a therapeutic process post-breakup. “I truly feel like this is the most vulnerable music I’ve ever written,” she wrote on Instagram when announcing the record. “I decided to not hide behind my own metaphors and poetry, and however difficult it was to write, I told the truth. I wrote this in the midst of a breakup, and I truly felt so alone. In hindsight, I think I wrote the album that I needed to hear at that time. So, my hope is that it does the same for you.”
8. She brought in the equally badass K.Flay to make the girl power anthems we all needed
The only thing more inspiring than one badass human is two. Cue K.Flay, who Briggs explains in AP#376 she befriended while on the road playing festivals as some of the only women on the lineup. As both a friend and collaborator, K.Flay helped Briggs evoke her true feelings on tracks such as “CHAMPION,” “JEKYLL & HIDE,” “MY SHINE” and “I TRIED.”
9. She aligned herself with people who share her vision
Given the vulnerable nature of the album, Briggs felt it was important to bring in people who would truly understand what she was trying to get out. In addition to K.Flay, Briggs brought in Joel Little (Kesha, Imagine Dragons)—who had helped produce her debut— and Teddy Geiger (5 Seconds Of Summer, Shawn Mendes), among others. The vocalist also credits that first album for paving the way for her to truly be herself. “That was really liberating,” Briggs says. “And I think also with the #MeToo movement, it really changed a lot in my life. It changed the people I worked with dramatically. I think surrounding yourself with feminists and people that believe that men and women should be equal has been the biggest change in my life.”
10. She applauded Rihanna on the diversity in her Savage X Fenty line
Rihanna brought together the fashion and entertainment industries for her Savage X Fenty show in September. Halsey debuted “Graveyard” ahead of an official release, and Briggs was also in attendance. The lingerie brand focuses on inclusivity with products matching a wide array of skin tones and models ranging in sizes. Following the show, Briggs celebrated Rihanna’s show, writing, “Omg little goth me just went 2 the @savagexfenty by @badgalriri fashion show & it makes me SO happy 2 see all different shapes and sizes and skin tones on the runway ☺️🙏✨ it’s hoW it sHoUld BE aLL thE TIME!!!!!!”