Mikaela Mullaney Straus (born December 19, 1998), known by her stage name King Princess, is an American singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and producer from Brooklyn, New York. She is signed to Mark Ronson's label Zelig Records, an imprint of Columbia Records. In February 2018, King Princess released her debut single "1950". The song was a commercial success, charting in multiple territories. The song was later certified platinum by the RIAA. "1950" was followed by King Princess's second single, "Talia", which failed to chart anywhere, but was certified gold in Australia by the ARIA. King Princess released her debut studio album, Cheap Queen, on October 25, 2019.
Straus was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York; she is the child of recording engineer Oliver H. Straus Jr. and Agnes "Aggie" Mullaney. Her parents divorced while she was young. On her mother's side she is of Irish, Italian, and Polish descent. On her father's side, her great-great-grandparents include Isidor Straus, a U.S. Congressman, and co-owner of Macy's, and Ida Straus; they were from German Jewish families, who immigrated to the United States from the Kingdom of Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate. The couple died in the sinking of the passenger ship RMS Titanic. However she is not an heiress and did not inherit any fortune, telling Rolling Stone, "I didn’t inherit any of this money." She has also clarified this information on her social media platforms.
Straus spent much of her childhood following her father to work at his recording studio, Mission Sound. There, she learned several instruments, including bass, guitar, piano, and drums, as well as music-production techniques and insight into the music industry. Straus's inspiration in those years had come from the rock music of the bands Led Zeppelin and T. Rex, as well as Jack White. She attended high school at Avenues: The World School, a private school in Manhattan, and played volleyball.
After high school, Straus moved to Los Angeles to study at the USC Thornton School of Music. However, after a year, she dropped out in favor of her music career.
A music label offered to sign Straus at the age of 11, but she refused to do so. Straus refused because of her experience watching other artists work with a music label in her father's studio. The labels would control the artist's product, and change the feel of the music. She did not want to sign with a record label until she had a definition of her music, how she wanted to run the production, and with whom she would work.
In February 2018, King Princess released her debut single "1950". "1950" is a tribute to the 1952 novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, to the LGBT community and to queer love. The song reached a wide audience when British singer Harry Styles tweeted a lyric from the song. Straus followed this with her second single "Talia" in April. She released her debut extended play Make My Bed on June 15, 2018. Later that year, she earned Breakout Pop Artist of the Year honors from Vivid Seats.
In 2019, it was announced that King Princess would perform at Lollapalooza and Coachella. She played The Park stage at the 2019 Glastonbury Festival and was joined by Mark Ronson (dressed as King Princess) for a performance of their collaboration "Pieces of Us" from his 2019 album Late Night Feelings. Zelig Recordings released King Princess's debut album Cheap Queen on October 25, 2019. She produced much of the album herself, including programming many of the instruments. In November 2019, King Princess was announced to be the opening act for the European leg of Harry Styles' planned 2020 concert tour, Love On Tour. King Princess performed as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live (Season 45, Episode 7) on November 23, 2019. She released a deluxe edition of Cheap Queen on February 14, 2020. The release included five previously unreleased new songs, including "Ohio".
Straus is gay and genderqueer. From early 2018 to late 2018, Straus dated actress Amandla Stenberg. Since early 2019, Straus has been dating Quinn Whitney Wilson, the creative director of musician Lizzo. Regarding her gender identity, she has said in an interview with W Magazine, "I like being a woman sometimes. I would say 49 percent of the time I love my titties. But I’m not fully a woman. I’m somebody who falls center on the gender spectrum, and it changes day to day. It’s just not in me to decide." As of late 2020, King Princess prefers to use she/her pronouns.