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Born Julia Carin Cavazos in Davenport, Iowa, in 1993, she grew up in Santa Clarita, California, where she began singing and performing around age 12. By her teens, she had adopted the stage name Julia Michaels and was collaborating on music with professional songwriters Joleen Belle and Lindy Robbins. Along with Belle and Robbins, Michaels composed songs for such artists as Demi Lovato, Fifth Harmony, Selena Gomez, Ed Sheeran, Shakira, Linkin Park, and many others. She also launched her own performance career, appearing on songs like Jason Derulo's "Trade Hearts," Zedd's "Straight into the Fire," and Kygo's "Carry Me," which she performed at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Michaels released her debut solo single, "Issues," in 2017. The song became a hit on charts around the world, going multi-platinum in the U.S., Australia, and Norway. "Issues" also appeared on her debut EP, Nervous System, which arrived in the summer of 2017 on Republic. The seven-song set peaked in the Top 50 on the Billboard 200 and earned Michaels Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Song of the Year for "Issues." In late 2017, she co-wrote and sang on U.K. electronic act Clean Bandit's hit single "I Miss You," which charted around the globe. The following year, she collaborated with American rapper Trippie Redd on her single "Jump."
In 2019, Michaels issued the first in a series of EPs titled Inner Monologue, which included the tracks "Anxiety" featuring Selena Gomez and "What a Time" featuring Niall Horan. The second volume followed in June, with eight songs written by Michaels. In January 2020, she joined Diplo and Morgan Wallen for a re-recorded version of their song "Heartless." ~ Matt Collar