With her flamboyant and colorful outfits, shiny pink lipgloss and effervescent presence on social media, DJ Lipgloss looks the part of a young zillenial coming up in the DJ game. But the truth is that she’s fashionably late to the party having raised three children and grinded for 16 years in hospitality before launching a second career as a mobile DJ in her fourth century around the sun.
“They call me Glam-ma,” Appling chuckles. “I always loved to party, always loved the nightlife scene.”
In the first eight years of her DJ journey, Lipgloss has performed thrice for 50 Cent, opened for Ginuwine, spun at the Chicago Women’s Expo and wrecked shop across Chicagoland at town spots such as Brick’s Night Club, Mike’s Place, Bassline and Touch of the Past. She pivoted to livestreaming in 2020 and exploded as an online DJ personality who sucked in thousands of streamers on the regular with her magnetic personality and iconic song choices.
“I made so much money through CashApp and Facebook it was unbelievable,” Appling says. “I love being a DJ because I always compare it to being a chef. We’re in the kitchen cooking it up and what we dish out is what’s on the menu.”
“All set up!”
That’s been DJ Lipgloss’s mantra for eight years now; a first look she posts on social media before the party pops off.
“It’s just about the energy,” says Lipgloss, real name Devonna Appling. “I’m ready to rock and roll. The party starts now.”
Once again mobile and amplified by her favorite Electro-Voice speakers, DJ Lipgloss shows up and shows out weekly at weddings, birthday parties, cookouts, baby showers… you name it. She’s a familiar face to kids in the Chicago Public School system at picnics and pep-rallies where she encourages the young ones to get involved with music.
“It was a bit rough growing up,” Appling says of her Westside Chicago upbringing. “All you had was music to be your escape … You had those songs that just kind of get you by like 2pac’s ‘Keep Ya Head Up’.”
Lipgloss emerged from the shutdown firing on all cylinders with destination weddings lined up from Cancun to Atlanta. She’s even designed and launched her own event space that is now booking.
“You put in the work, you sacrifice and you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor,” Appling says. “Where you come from has nothing to do with where you are going. If you’re one of the lucky ones to make it out, you don’t want to look back. That’s for sure.”