By the time Lennon Stella was 13 years old, she was a recognizable face to a multitude of audiences. As the child of Brad and MaryLynne Stella, a Canadian country music duo known as The Stellas, she was basically born into the spotlight. Legend has it that she got her first guitar when she was five — an instrument her father, an exceptional guitarist, taught her to play. When her sister Maisy, four years her junior, was old enough to explore her own musical talents, the two began performing together.
Both girls were born in Oshawa, Ont., and the family lived in Claremont, Ont. — a small community just outside of Whitby — until they relocated to Nashville in 2009 to work on their music careers. The same year, Lennon and Maisy’s parents divorced after a 20-year marriage, but the singer-songwriters continued to pursue music together.
Lennon and Maisy became a well-known duo in their own right, both before moving to the States and while living in Tennessee. But in 2011, something truly fairy-tale-like happened: The girls were cast in a show called Nashville, with a star-studded list of headliners that included Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere and Jonathan Jackson. The script called for pre-teen kids, and Maisy was auditioning for the role of the older sister, but one of the producers stumbled upon a video of the sisters playing at the legendary Bluebird Café as part of a set with their parents. This led to a swiftly arranged audition for Lennon. It quickly became clear that the show could not do without the Stella magic, and a rewrite was penned to include a teenager (Lennon) and a pre-teen (Maisy).
The girls joined the cast of the hit show as regulars, playing Maddie and Daphne Conrad. Lennon, who is named for the Beatle, portrayed her mercurial character flawlessly, balanced by the sweetness of Maisy’s performance. Their incredible vocal talents were often written into the storyline, giving Lennon and Maisy an opportunity to share their voices with a considerable television audience. Their cover of “Hey Ho” by the Lumineers has garnered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, even more than four years after Nashville aired its series finale.
The show coming to a close in 2018, after six seasons, also marked a new chapter for Lennon and Maisy. Lennon decided to go solo as an indie/pop musician, inking a record deal with Records and Columbia. She released her first EP titled Love, Me that November. Between 2018 and 2020, she collaborated with a number of other artists, including British singer Anne-Marie, singer Liam Payne and producer Jonas Blue, electronica duo The Chainsmokers and DJ Illenium. In 2020, she released her first full-length album, Three. Two. One., which was well-received by critics. She won the Juno Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2020 — the first major award of her career — for her work on this record. In 2022, she played a number of major festivals, including The Calgary Stampede, and released a gorgeous cover of The Carpenters’ “Merry Christmas, Darling.”
Today, Lennon, now 23, is still the creative powerhouse she’s always been. With more than a million followers across social media platforms, she no longer needs a TV show or famous parents to give her a platform. She’s a rising star all on her own, with a soulful sound that is sure to carry her to further success. And it all started right here in Durham Region.