When Betty Who performs at the 2014 Utah Pride Festival, Saturday, June 7, she will be playing to a crowd with a special connection to her music. Betty Who, born Jess Newham, has a sweet Beehive State connection that includes the release of her song, “Somebody Loves You,” and an online marriage proposal that garnered more than 11 million YouTube views.
On Sept. 11, 2013, Spencer Stout uploaded a YouTube video of him proposing to his boyfriend Dustin Reeser in a flash mob at a Home Depot in Salt Lake City. The video, which featured “Somebody Loves You,” became an online-hit. The attention garnered from the video coupled with the track’s official iTunes release, led to the song debuting at #44 on the Overall iTunes Charts, as well as debuting as the #4 most viral song on Spotify. Betty Who signed with RCA Records a short time later.
Betty Who has described her sound as “taking influences from [past] music and mixing it in with the emotions I’m actually living through. We’re all secretly wrecks, and we’re all in love and all being heartbroken. Combining those things for me has been a huge tool to get the sound I want.”
Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Betty Who moved to the United States in 2007. She trained, since childhood, as a classical cellist and is self-taught on the piano and the guitar. She started writing songs at age 14 and began performing as a singer/songwriter at age 16.
Her debut EP, “The Movement,” was released in April 2013 and earned the attention of critics worldwide, including Time magazine which picked Betty as one of 14 Musical Acts To Watch In 2014. She released her second EP, “Slow Dancing,” April 8, 2014, which made it to #1 on the iTunes pop music chart.
“If I could define my artistry as anything, it would be the immediate personal connections I make with my audiences. So much of my music is a plea to love me for who I am, because that’s all I have. I still want to play Madison Square Garden, but I get overwhelmed thinking about it — there are so many people that feel connected to you and I want to give something back to all of them.”