Published on March 6, 2013 by Casey
Betty X, (born Zoe Pierce-Gibson) is an American musician, artist, and writer known for her controversial stage persona and image as the lead singer of the eponymous band Betty X. Her stage name was formed from the combination of names of 1950s’ American icons: domestic goddess Betty Crocker, pin-up model Bettie Page and the human rights activist Malcolm X. Betty is also the founding member of Satan in High Heels and works with guest musicians to co-write songs. She was the founder and front woman for her previous punk cabaret band Salon Betty. She is also well known in the underground art/music scene for her guerrilla art and outrageous on-stage antics. She is currently releasing sociopolitical videos on her new video company Brave New Video, and writing a fictionalized auto-biography titled Memoirs of a Pain Junkie.
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Betty was born and raised in Seattle, Washington into a musical family. Betty is the third child of Janice (née Pierce) and Michael Thompson-Gibson. Betty is of English and Irish descent on her mother’s side, and 11th cousin of former President George W. Bush. She is also of Cherokee descendent and great-granddaughter of Chief John Ross (Cherokee chief) of the Cherokee Nation on her father’s side.
Betty began singing at the age of five she was encouraged by father, a jazz drummer, her mother a pianist/accordionist and sister, a flutist/guitarist. She studied music, theatre, and fine arts throughout her childhood.
As a child, she attended a Protestant church, but left organized religion as a young teenager and studied Native American spirituality and shamanism instead. After she traveled to Japan at age fifteen, she developed an avid interest in Buddhist philosophy.
Betty was accepted into Cornish College of the Arts at the fifteen years old into the Fine Arts program, the youngest student to be accepted into Cornish at that time. She graduated early from high school at age sixteen. She earned a BA in arts studying performance art, video, mixed media, interdisciplinary arts and painting. During college years she started spoken word nights, art happenings and she designed clothes for local rock bands in Seattle. She designed costumes and hats for the psychedelic rock band Sky Cries Mary and Malfuktion.