Three-time Grammy nominee and “Ex’s and Oh’s” songstress Elle King co-hosts MTV’s Catfish tonight with Nev Schulman where she’ll help him get to the bottom of the strange connection between Nique and Alice. The country, soul, rock, and blues singer currently resides in Los Angeles and recently released her sophomore album, Shake the Spirit, in October. King, who’s toured with huge names like The Dixie Chicks, Modest Mouse, and Michael Kiwanuka, also received nominations for CMT Music Awards and a Billboard Music Award for “Different for Girls,” her duet with Dierks Bentley.
In 1988, Schneider married model London King, his first wife. The two shared one child together, Tanner Elle Schneider (aka Elle King) before eventually splitting two years later. When Elle was only one year old, her father, Schneider, was just making his start as a cast member on the 16th season of Saturday Night Live. Following his four-year stay on the legendary sketch show, Schneider scored a bit part on Seinfeld before booking the lead role in NBC’s Men Behaving Badly. The comedian continued with a healthy film career starring in movies such as Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick, The Benchwarmers, and Grown Ups.
London King started her modeling career appearing in several TV commercials which led to her first break in Hollywood. Though she’s mostly acted in smaller supporting roles, she’s best known for the 2000 film A Better Way to Die. After her divorce with Schneider, London focused on her children and career over a new relationship, though she remarried in 2000 after meeting her new partner, Justin Tesa.
Elle King dropped her father’s name before she hit it big because she wanted the world to focus on her talent as a musician as opposed to her famous family.
“I wanted to be myself…I am my own person,” she told ABC News. “It’s not that I wanted to be a famous person. I wanted to be a performer. I worked really hard and I did everything myself and I took a name that…is my mother’s name. I took that name because I wanted to be myself.”
Elle King has always been vocal about how close she is with her stepfather Tesa. In fact, she claims she’s only a musician because of his encouragement. Her inspiration to become an artist came when Tesa gave her an album by the all-girl hard rock band The Donnas when she was just nine years old.
“I am only a musician because of him,” said King. “I think that it was something that was inside of me, but he saw that and he definitely nurtured it and pushed me to dig deeper into music and step outside of things that were beyond just pop culture and learn about good rock and roll.”
As for her biological father, Schneider, the two reconnected in recent years after a “complicated past.” King said her father was a “workaholic” when she was growing up, but now she has the dad she always wanted. The two grew closer after Schneider had her two half-sisters: Miranda, 5 and a half, and Madeline, 2.
“We both have grown up a lot. And you realize what’s important,” she told People. “I wanted my sisters to have good memories of me from their childhood when they grew. Family really is so important. So through that, me just kind of showing up and trying to be good for them, really made it easy because there were no bad motives. When it’s about the kids, the bulls—t kind of goes away…Honestly, he’s probably my biggest supporter.”