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 Long Ride

What riding the bus taught me

The Fall of the Lions

When busing ended, West Charlotte High School went from being a model for the nation to a problem the city has yet to solve

In the Rearview Mirror: Busing in Charlotte

The Story of Charlotte, Part 5: Blood’s Bedroom

Charlotte avoids becoming a battlefield during the Civil War. But as the South is decimated, the city becomes a place of refuge for the Confederacy—including, in the end, the fleeing president from a nation that never was

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 siging up for our newsletters. Learn more by clicking here.

Blogs »


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

All Things Green Chile

The green chile is a pepper that ought to be celebrated, and Chuy's in SouthPark is ready to spotlight the spicy treat with drinks and dishes

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

The Charlotte Area's Soldier-Cops

Military surplus for Charlotte-area cops: Four armored vehicles in Cabarrus, six grenade launchers in Cleveland, 230 assault rifles in Gaston.

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

On Ferguson and Bill James

If the good people of District 6 are tired of Bill James, now's an excellent time for them to say so.

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

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

Nightlife News: Bakersfield Tequila Bar, Sports One Bar & Lounge, and Uptown Bar & Kitchen Now Open

The newest venues, poised to impact Charlotte’s nightlife and social scene.

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

Triple C celebrating 2 years with 2 days of great beer this weekend

Brewery also set for upcoming releases of Urban Hop Project and Space Cadet Black

Comments