Broadway and Back

Fourteen-year-old Chantylla Chauncey Johnson talks about her breakthrough on Broadway



Courtesy

Who:

Chantylla Chauncey Johnson, fourteen, eighth-grader at Wilson Middle School

What:

Born in New Jersey and raised mostly in New York, Johnson and her family moved to Charlotte three years ago. But the move south hasn’t dimmed her increasing star power. Her first Broadway role was Young Nettie in The Color Purple. Her next big part came as Young Nala in The Lion King, which she’s been cast for in three productions of the show: on U.S. tour, in China, and
on Broadway.

When you might have heard her:

She voices the Muppet singing the “I Love My Hair” song on Sesame Street. The venerable children’s show posted the video on YouTube, where it garnered more than a million views in just the first couple weeks. “Before I even sang the song, I looked at it and thought of a lot of people who don’t like their hair,” Johnson says. “So I knew the song was going to be great. It gives the message that you should love your hair, and people should accept you for who you are.” In viral video tradition, a creative director in New York created a mash-up video of Chantylla’s Sesame Street Muppet performing Willow Smith’s (Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s daughter) “Whip My Hair,” which has received more than 2 million views itself.

Up next:

Johnson says she hopes to land a role in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical that’s in the works. But right now she’s having fun being a cheerleader at her school.

More »Related Stories

The Story of Charlotte, Part 7: Bills of Rights

The mills bring growth and the city expands, giving Charlotteans the freedom to live in such faraway places as the new neighborhood of Dilworth. But after a series of political fights, many residents will soon feel the full grip of oppression

Split Tickets: Charlotte's Cultural Sector

Many large local arts organizations and shows are setting records. Big money is pouring into a major fundraising campaign led by Hugh McColl. But the news isn’t good everywhere. Smaller companies are struggling, with some even shutting down. Can Charlotte sustain both?

Dr. J. Michael Bitzer: The Professor on Speed Dial

When reporters need analysis of the Tillis-Hagan race—or any other political matter, really—they call him. So how did this bow tie-wearing, statistics-loving, Southern politics-following academic from Clemson become everybody’s go-to source?

What's for Breakfast?

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:

Newsletters

Stay up-to-date on all things Charlotte by signing up for our newsletters. Learn more by clicking here.

Newsletter Sign Up
Email*
 

Blogs »


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Fun at the Markets, Farms, and Gardens

Take time to enjoy events in Davidson, Matthews, Belmont, and the heart of Myers Park

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Judiciary for Sale

More than ever, money rather than integrity wins judges' elections. It's time for a change.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Try This: Breakfast Bowl at Tupelo

Tupelo Honey on South Blvd dishes up everything from breakfast to lunch to dinner. But the restaurant in the old Pewter Rose shines brightest during the first meal of the day.

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Nightlife News: Q-Tavern and Hattie’s Tap & Tavern Now Open; Uber Offers Passport to NoDa

The latest news, poised to impact Charlotte’s nightlife and social scene.

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

Triple C releasing “The Dude Imbibes” this Saturday

Event will feature live music and a bottle share

Comments