Hayley Kiyoko

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Hayley Kiyoko
Hayley Kiyoko performing in Austin, Texas (2018-05-07) (27249107687).jpg
Kiyoko performing in Austin, Texas on May 7, 2018
Born Hayley Kiyoko Alcroft
(1991-04-03) April 3, 1991 (age 27)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
  • dancer
  • director
Years active 2007–present
Website hayleykiyokoofficial.com
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • bass guitar
  • keyboards
  • drums
  • accordion
  • autoharp
Associated acts

Hayley Kiyoko Alcroft (born April 3, 1991) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, and director. Beginning dance lessons as a child, Kiyoko's interest in entertaining led to her working as a child model and actress. She appeared in a variety of films including Scooby-Doo! film series (2009–10), Lemonade Mouth (2011), Blue Lagoon: The Awakening (2012), Jem and the Holograms (2015), and XOXO (2016). Alongside her film roles, she also held a recurring role in the TV series The Fosters (2014) and a lead role on CSI: Cyber (2015–16). Kiyoko has held a lead role in Five Points (2018), alongside Madison Pettis.

Kiyoko was a founding member of The Stunners in 2007. The group released a slew of singles and supported Justin Bieber's My World Tour, before disbanding in 2011. Since, Kiyoko has issued three solo extended plays: A Belle to Remember (2013), This Side of Paradise (2015, which includes the single "Girls Like Girls"), and Citrine (2016). Following singles including "Sleepover", "Feelings", and "Curious" have been released to accompany her debut studio album Expectations, which was released on March 30, 2018. The album reached the top 20 of the charts in United States, Canada and Australia. She has also created a comic book, with the help of Naomi Franquiz and Marla Vazquez, based off Kiyoko's song "Gravel to Tempo".

Life and career[edit]

1991–2007: Early life[edit]

Kiyoko was born on April 3, 1991, in Los Angeles, California, to actor/comedian Jamie Alcroft and figure skater/choreographer Sarah Kawahara. Her mother is from Canada, and is of Japanese ancestry, and her father is from Ohio, and has German, Welsh, English and Irish ancestry.[3] She began acting at a young age, appearing in national commercials for companies such as GM Onstar, Slim Jim, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.[4] Insisting on drum lessons at age 6, she was writing drum charts for new releases and selling them in a local music store by age 11.[5] At age 8, Kiyoko wrote a song called "Notice", which her dad still urges her to release.[6] She was elected President of her middle school and high school freshman classes school and Vice-president in her senior year. She was appointed Commissioner of Entertainment in her sophomore year and Commissioner of Pep Rallies in her junior year.

She created and choreographed "The Agoura High Step Team" which was faculty-approved as a school club under her direction. The team placed 3rd at a Nationals competition in 2005.[7] Upon graduation, she was accepted into Clive Davis School of Recorded Music at New York University but initially deferred until eventually declining due to career opportunities.[citation needed]

Kiyoko was discovered at the age of 5 when she went with her friend to a photo shoot. The director asked her to step in front of the camera, and she ended up in a national print ad for KnowledgeWare. Nickelodeon spotted her at the Culver City Ice Rink, and she ended up featured in and narrating a short piece about children in sports called, "I'm Hayley, a Skater".[5] Kiyoko continued to hone her skills in middle school plays, and in 7th grade she, after seeing Eurasian girls like herself act in J. C. Penney commercials, asked for an agent.[citation needed] She got her commercial agent and booked her first audition, claiming acting was always just something she did on the side to make money for college and music equipment.[8] Kiyoko created the garage band Hede, named after her grandfather,[7] in November 2007, and released five songs on Myspace and a music video for "Warehouse". The band performed locally on several occasions and split in 2008.[7]

2007–2011: Career beginnings and The Stunners[edit]

Kiyoko in 2011

In 2007, Kiyoko was approached by former pop-star Vitamin C to join an all-girl singing and dancing group. She joined Allie Gonino, Tinashe, Kelsey Sanders (later replaced by Lauren Hudson), and Marisol Esparza to form The Stunners. Six months after forming, the group signed with Columbia Records and released a single titled "Bubblegum" to iTunes along with the official video for the single. They also contributed a cover of the song "Let's Hear It for the Boy" to the iCarly soundtrack.[9] In 2009, the group left Columbia Records,[10] signed a production deal with Lionsgate Entertainment, and shot a music video for their promo single "We Got It", which was released on February 22, 2010.[10] After graduating high school in 2009, Kiyoko booked her first big movie, starring as Velma Dinkley in Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins, a role she almost did not audition for due to her image.[11][12] The TV movie premiered on September 13, 2009 and was a huge success. It brought in 6.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched program in Cartoon Network's history.[13][12] She reprised the role in the movie's sequel, Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, which premiered on October 16, 2010. The sequel drew 3.4 million viewers.[14] In 2010, Kiyoko also guest starred in four episodes of Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place in the role of Stevie Nichols, an evil wizard.

The Stunners signed to Universal Republic Records[10] in 2010 and released their first single "Dancin' Around the Truth", which featured the New Boyz.[15] The music video for the song premiered June 2, just before the group was announced as an opening act on Justin Bieber's My World Tour.[16] A full album was planned,[17] but cancelled when the group split in 2011.[10][18][19] Kiyoko claimed that she wanted to be in control of her own music.[20] Kiyoko began work on the Disney Channel movie Lemonade Mouth in 2010,[11] starring in a lead role as rebellious teenager Stella Yamada. The film premiered on April 15, 2011 with 5.7 million viewers.[21][22] Kiyoko later guest starred in the episode "Skater Girl Island" of Disney XD's Zeke and Luther which aired May 23, 2011. A sequel to Lemonade Mouth was cancelled prior to pre-production when Disney released a statement saying that "they felt the movie had completed its story within the first film."[23]

2012–14: Television films[edit]

In February 2012, Kiyoko landed a small role in Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, a Lifetime TV movie and remake of the 1980 film The Blue Lagoon. The movie premiered on June 16, 2012.[24] She portrayed the character Gabi in a recurring role on ABC Family's The Fosters and later landed the role of Raven Ramirez in CSI: Cyber.[25] She also portrayed Shannie in the Netflix movie XOXO, which premiered in August 2016.

On March 12, 2013, Kiyoko released her debut EP, A Belle to Remember.[26] The album was partially crowdfunded through MusicPledge.[27] Immediately following its release, Kiyoko began writing new music in London with British producer James Flannigan. She announced via Facebook in 2014 that her next EP was finished and she would be debuting the songs at a show later that month. The songs were recorded in her parents' garage in Los Angeles with Flannigan.[28] Kiyoko also collaborated with Swedish producer Anders Grahn.[29]

2015–present: Record deal, EPs, and Expectations[edit]

Her second EP, This Side of Paradise, was released on February 3, 2015.[30] The music video for her single "Girls Like Girls" was released on June 24, 2015.[31] After co-directing the video for "Girls Like Girls" (which as of March 2018 has over 86 million views[32]), Kiyoko assumed full directorial responsibilities for her next music video. "Cliff's Edge" was released via Vevo in November 2015.[33]

In 2016, she released the single "Gravel to Tempo" and its music video from her next EP, Citrine.[34] The EP was released on September 30, 2016 via EMPIRE and Atlantic.[35] Her third fully self-directed music video for the song "One Bad Night" was premiered via Vice on October 11, 2016 in order to promote the EP.[36] A new single called "Sleepover" was released alongside its music video on March 2, 2017 via BuzzFeed.[37] Following that, the self-directed music video for her single "Feelings" was released on October 19, 2017.[38] The third single, "Curious" was released on January 13, 2018 with the album's pre-order, alongside its music video, directed by Kiyoko and James Larese, and which premiered on Total Request Live.[39][40]

Her debut studio album, Expectations, was released on March 30, 2018.[41]Her self-directed music video for "What I Need," feat. Kehlani, was released on May 31, 2018.[42][43]

Personal life[edit]

Kiyoko is a gay woman[44][45][20] and has said that the "Gravel to Tempo" video draws on her experiences with having crushes on girls while growing up.[34] In a 2016 interview, she expressed her frustration about not connecting to people the way she wanted. When asked about something about herself that no one knew and she was afraid to sing about, Kiyoko wanted to sing about the fact that she likes girls, but was struggling to be out about that. In her school days, she had a crush on a female teacher, and she realized she liked girls and grew up struggling with these feelings, fearing rejection and judgment if she came out. She wanted to inspire confidence in young people dealing with the same struggles.[46] Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl was Kiyoko's turning point and inspiration to turn to pop music.[20] Through her music, Kiyoko works to normalize lesbian relationships in a society and music industry that she sees as being very heteronormative.

"If you see two girls falling in love and normalizing that, then [people] can go, 'I can fall in love, too. I can be that person. I can look like that. I can get a girl that looks like that.' If they see that, then they can believe it. It's just how we are."[6]



Year Title Role Notes
2012 Adrift Jess Short film
2014 Hello, My Name Is Frank Alisa
2015 Insidious: Chapter 3 Maggie
Jem and the Holograms Aja Leith
2016 XOXO Shanni
2018 Becks Lucy


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Unfabulous Auctioning Girl / Rapping & Dancing Girl Episodes: "The Auction", "The Song"
2009 Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins Velma Dinkley Television film
2010 Wizards of Waverly Place Stevie Nichols Recurring role; 4 episodes
Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster Velma Dinkley Television film
2011 Lemonade Mouth Stella Yamada Television film
Zeke and Luther Suzi Vandelintzer Episode: "Skater Girl Island"
2012 Blue Lagoon: The Awakening Helen Television film
2013 The Vampire Diaries Megan Episode: "I Know What You Did Last Summer"
2014 The Fosters Gabi Recurring role; 5 episodes
2015–16 CSI: Cyber Raven Ramirez Main role; 28 episodes
2017 Insecure Miko Episode: "Hella LA"


Year Title Role Notes
2014 The Fosters: Girls United Gabi Main role; 5 episodes
2018 Five Points Lexi Himitsu Main role; 10 episodes



  • This Side of Paradise Tour (2015)
  • The Summer Tour (2015)
  • One Bad Night Tour (2016–17)
  • Expectations Tour (2018)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated Work Result
2015 Independent Filmmakers Showcase Film Festival[47] Best Supporting Actress Hello, My Name Is Frank... Won
2018 MTV Video Music Awards[48] Best New Artist Herself Pending
Best Push Artist Pending


  1. ^ Rick Florino (July 24, 2016). "Interview: Hayley Kiyoko". Artistdirect. 
  2. ^ Kim Taylor Bennett (March 25, 2016). "Listen to All the Shiny New Hayley Kiyoko Remixes of "Cliffs Edge"". Noisey. 
  3. ^ Nalea J. Ko (May 9, 2011). "Disney Starlet Hayley Kiyoko on Keeping Grounded in Hollywood". Pacific Citizen. Archived from the original on November 8, 2011. 
  4. ^ Hazuda, Matt (August 1, 2008). "PR: Warner Premiere & Cartoon Network to Release Live-Action SCOOBY-DOO Prequel". Toon Zone. Retrieved 2009-11-11. 
  5. ^ a b J. Alcroft. "Hayley Kiyoko — Biography". IMDb. 
  6. ^ a b Stephen J. Horowitz (March 8, 2018). "Hayley Kiyoko on Her Debut Album 'Expectations' and Being a Queer Pop Star: 'It's Important for People to Lead by Example'". Billboard.com. 
  7. ^ a b c Sophia Fische (July 24, 2008). "Westlake High student to star in upcoming 'Scooby Doo'film". The Acorn. 
  8. ^ "Hayley Kiyoko Interview!". Glitter Magazine. August 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ "The Stunners Biography on MTV". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  10. ^ a b c d Lindell, Karen (July 16, 2010). "Hayley's Comet". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  11. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 7, 2011. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  13. ^ Seidman, Robert (September 15, 2009). "SCOOBY-DOO! THE MYSTERY BEGINS Scores as Cartoon Network's Most-Watched Telecast in Network History". TV by the Numbers. 
  14. ^ Seidman, Robert (October 19, 2010). "Sunday Cable Ratings: Kardarshians Lead; 'Mad Men' Finale Up; 'Rubicon' Finale Down; 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Sonny with a Chance' & Much More". TV by the Numbers. 
  15. ^ "Top 40/M Future Releases". All Access Music Groupaccessdate=2010-04-25. 
  16. ^ "Justin Bieber presents The Stunners!". June 3, 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  17. ^ "ASCAP search results Stunners – HEARTS STOP BEATING". Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  18. ^ "The Stunners (group)". eNotes. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  19. ^ "The Lying Game's Allie Gonino Dishes on Her New Role, Makeup Tricks and Shoe Splurging". Elle Girl. Karen Hor and Jaclyn Palazzolo. October 12, 2011. Archived from the original on November 14, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  20. ^ a b c Spanos, Brittany (July 20, 2018). "#20gayteen: The Year of Hayley Kiyoko". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 20, 2018. 
  21. ^ Seidman, Robert (April 28, 2011). "Friday Cable Ratings: History's "American Restoration" Leads Demo; Disney's "Lemonade Mouth" Tops Viewing + "Sanctuary," "Smackdown" and More". TV by the Numbers. 
  22. ^ Seidman, Robert (May 4, 2011). "Disney Channel's 'Lemonade Mouth' Gains an Additional 1.5 Million Viewers with a Week of DVR Playback". TV by the Numbers. 
  23. ^ Peel, Anna (May 17, 2012). "Bridget Mendler – Lemonade Mouth Won't Make A Sequel". BSC Kids. 
  24. ^ Ng, Philiana (May 15, 2012). "Lifetime's 'Blue Lagoon' TV Movie to Premiere in June". Hollywood Reporter. 
  25. ^ Carp, Jesse (March 4, 2015). "CSI: Cyber Review — A Drama So Formulaic It Could Have Been Created By Computer". Cinema Blend. 
  26. ^ "A Belle to Remember". iTunes. 
  28. ^ "The Fold presents: Hayley Kiyoko". Fold Silver Lake. 2014. 
  29. ^ Kiyoko, Hayley (July 16, 2014). "After leaving my music management last year..." Facebook. 
  30. ^ Leight, Elias (February 2, 2015). "Exclusive Premiere: Hayley Kiyoko, 'This Side of Paradise' EP". Billboard. 
  31. ^ Rosenbloom, Ali (July 29, 2015). "Hayley Kiyoko's "Girls Like Girls" Music Video Tops 3.8 Million Views on Vevo, Reveals Inspiration for Song". Us Weekly. Retrieved October 17, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Hayley Kiyoko — Girls like Girls". Vevo. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  33. ^ Maxwell Losgar (November 12, 2015). "Hayley Kiyoko on Casting a Girl as the Love Interest in Her Music Vide". Teen Vogue. 
  34. ^ a b Arianna Davis (August 5, 2016). "Hayley Kiyoko Gravel To Tempo New Song, Music Video". Refinery29. 
  35. ^ Allen Foster (September 29, 2016). "Hayley Kiyoko on 'Citrine': 'My fans really inspired me to write this EP'". AXS. 
  36. ^ Kim Taylor Bennett (October 11, 2016). "Hayley Kiyoko's Video for "One Bad Night" Packs a Serious Punch". Vice. 
  37. ^ Sarah Karlan (March 2, 2017). "Hayley Kiyoko's Latest Single Is Here To Make Your Heart Hurt (In The Best Way)". BuzzFeed. 
  38. ^ Bianca Gracie (October 19, 2017). "Hayley Kiyoko Reveals All Her 'Feelings' For A Girl In Flirty New Video". Fuse. 
  39. ^ Nina Braca (January 11, 2018). "Watch Hayley Kiyoko's Colorful Video for 'Curious'". Billboard. 
  40. ^ Sydney Gore (January 11, 2018). "Hayley Kiyoko Premieres "Curious" Visual On TRL". MTV News, TRL. 
  41. ^ "Hayley Kiyoko on Twitter". 
  42. ^ https://twitter.com/HayleyKiyoko/status/1001901454171422720
  43. ^ http://www.mtv.com/news/3078532/hayley-kiyoko-kehlani-what-i-need-video/
  44. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Hayley Kiyoko on Her 'Insecure' Guest Role". ELLE. 2017-08-14. Retrieved 2017-09-03. 
  45. ^ Garcia-Navarro, Lulu (March 25, 2018). "Hayley Kiyoko On Making Space For Queer Stories In Mainstream Pop". NPR. Retrieved July 16, 2018. 
  46. ^ Hayley Kiyoko (December 12, 2016). "Hayley Kiyoko On Her Sexuality and Finding a Voice". Paper. 
  47. ^ "IFS Film Festival 2015". Retrieved July 18, 2018. 
  48. ^ "MTV VMAs 2018: See The Full List of Nominees Here". Pitchfork. July 16, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2018. 

External links[edit]