September 28, 2022 6:00 AM EDT

SZA and I first met years ago in Minneapolis. I was a fan of her music, so when she came to town, my friends and I went to her show. We ended up taking a selfie together in the bathroom. I still send her that selfie from time to time, because we had just met and didn’t know that we would have this long relationship. A year later, I booked a tour and she was the headliner. Throughout the experience, she was just so kind and so cool. After that, I literally watched her blow up. When she dropped CTRL, her debut studio album, it was a cultural f-cking reset. She changed the world! The authenticity in her craft—the way she’s able to tell her story and the way she uses melody—is extraordinary. No one can replicate that. When she’s onstage, she’s timeless. She’s someone who’s the real deal, and I think that she’s well on her way to being regarded as one of the greatest songwriters and singers of all time. All she needs is that pen and that voice and her story, and she’s going to be with us for a long time.

Lizzo is a Grammy-­winning musician

Photograph by Kanya Iwana for TIME

Buy a print of the SZA TIME100 Next cover

Styled by Alejandra Hernandez; Hair by Devante Turnbull; Make-up by Deanna Paley

Set Design by Lauren Machen and Quincy Irving

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