Elle King (born Tanner Elle Schneider; July 3, 1989) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Her musical style encompasses country, soul, rock and blues. In 2012, King released her debut EP, The Elle King EP, on RCA and Fat Possum Records. The EP track “Playing for Keeps” is the theme song for VH1’s Mob Wives Chicago series. She released her debut album, Love Stuff on February 17, 2015. The album produced the US top 10 single “Ex’s & Oh’s,” which earned her two Grammy nominations. King has also toured with acts such as Of Monsters and Men, Train and Michael Kiwanuka. She is the daughter of comedian Rob Schneider and former model London King.
King was born in Los Angeles, California, United States, to mother London King, a former model, and father, former SNL cast member Rob Schneider. Her parents divorced and her mother remarried. She grew up living in southern Ohio, between Wellston and Columbus. When she was 9 her stepfather, Justin Tesa, gave her a record by all-girl hard-rock band The Donnas; she views this as the pivotal moment when she decided she wanted to be a musician. Around this time, she also started listening to The Runaways and Blondie, and she made her acting debut alongside her father in the movie Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. Three years later, at 13, King started playing guitar, immersing herself in the music of Otis Redding, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, AC/DC (she has the band’s logo tattooed on her bicep), and Earl Scruggs. Her interest in the country and bluegrass of Hank Williams and Earl Scruggs inspired her to learn the banjo. During her teenage years, she attended Buck’s Rock camp in Connecticut, where she starred in a number of musicals. King plays guitar and banjo.
King spent her teenage years in New York City, but she has also lived in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Copenhagen, Denmark. Upon graduating from Elisabeth Irwin High School she moved to Philadelphia to matriculate at University of the Arts, studying painting and film. During these college years she had an artistic epiphany seeing a live show where the band onstage used a banjo purely for accompaniment purposes, eschewing the bluegrass and country musical vocabulary traditionally associated with the instrument. King then began to use the banjo as a compositional tool. After college, she briefly lived in Copenhagen and Los Angeles, before moving back to New York where she currently resides in Bushwick, Brooklyn.