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SZA Press Photos

Source: Daniel Webster / Courtesy TDE / RCA Records

Grammy award? Check. Billboard’s 2023 Woman of the Year? Check. One of this year’s most successful album releases? Check. But having all the accolades has no comparison than getting mom’s approval. That’s the head nod of Audrey Rowe, the mom of chart-topper SZA.

During a profile in the New York Times, the singer and her family dished on the star’s humble beginnings and rise to fame.

“I wish I knew then what I know now about listening to what your child has a passion for, and supporting that, whatever it is. It’s so hard to follow your own dreams, Rowe told the NYT.

Watching her child choose a different path outside of her original plan of going to college created quite the conflict in the pair’s relationship.

“When I wouldn’t do the college thing they wanted, my mom kind of insinuated that I had to like, get out,” SZA told the NYT.

The 33-year-old singer, whose current album SOS is dominating the Billboard 200 for four straight weeks and counting, reflected on a short college experience at Delaware State University, where she was planning to major in marine biology. An interesting footnote as she appears on the cover of her album on the plank of open sea.

“I started staying on people’s couches, and vibing aimlessly. That sent me into a crazy depression but also lit a fire under my ass,” SZA, whose real name is Solana Imani Rowe said.

But college wasn’t necessarily the answer despite her journey after leaving. “I drank Malibu and smoked weed every day. And slept,” SZA said.

Years later, SZA nor her mother have regrets about her trajectory to fame.

“So many of us abandon it very young, especially if the people that we respect and love and trust think we could or should be doing something different. I’m so glad that she didn’t listen to me,” Rowe added.

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