Princess Superstar emerged from New York City's underground music scene in the mid-'90s with an eclectic blend of sample-based hip-hop, electro, punk, and swagger. The creation of New York native Concetta Kirschner, the project's debut album, Strictly Platinum, arrived in 1996. Collaborations with artists including Moby, the Prodigy, and Grandmaster Flash followed in the 2000s, which also saw her land in the U.K. Top 20 with 2002's "Bad Babysitter" and 2008's "Perfect (Exceeder)," a collaboration with Mason. A year after releasing her sixth studio LP, 2013's The New Evolution, her reality show I Love Princess Superstar premiered on YouTube.
Born in New York City in 1971, Kirschner spent most of her childhood in Pennsylvania, but returned to New York to attend NYU when she was 17. It was there that she started playing the guitar and, after earning a B.F.A. in drama, decided to pursue music instead of acting. She joined the Gamma Rays, a band that released a pair of singles on the Teenbeat label during the mid-'90s. In the meantime, armed with a four-track and two tape decks, she made her first demo as Princess Superstar. Released in 1994, Mitch Better Get My Bunny — a play on the title of a song by rapper AMG — created some buzz, including making CMJ magazine's Futures section, and she signed with Fifth Beetle Records. With a backing band consisting of Kirsten "Pro" Jansen on drums, Doug Pressman on bass, and Art "F" Lavis on guitar, Princess Superstar released the album Strictly Platinum in 1996. The debut quickly gained momentum, shooting to the number one spot on some college radio stations in New York and Los Angeles, while receiving airplay throughout the U.S. and Canada. Strictly Platinum's "Theme Song" and "Flavis Special" were licensed for NBC's NBA Roundup and MTV's Slam and Jam. Kirschner took steps toward musical autonomy by the end of 1996, founding her own record label (the tongue-in-cheek A Big Rich Major Label) and vowing never to sign with a "real" major-label again. She also assembled a new live band: Ski Love Ski on bass, Mike Linn on drums, and DJ Science Center spinning records live.
She recorded the second Princess Superstar album, 1997's CEO, with co-producers Curtis Curtis, Godfrey Diamond, and Greg Talenfeld. Following the album's release, Princess Superstar booked the Hostile Takeover Tour '98, a six-week tour through the U.S. and Canada, which included playing to a packed house at the South by Southwest Conference. In 1999, she toured and played festivals in Europe and began recording her third LP, which returned Curtis Curtis as her co-producer. Last of the Great 20th Century Composers was released in 2000 on her own label, renamed Corrupt Conglomerate. Kirschner's backing band by then included Linn and bassist Walter Sipser, with DJ Cutless Supreme manning turntables and playing guitar. Featuring appearances by musicians including Kool Keith, Beth Orton, and, on the single "Bad Babysitter," rap duo the High & Mighty, Princess Superstar Is arrived in late 2001 via Studio !K7 and Rapster. The next year, "Bad Babysitter" charted in Europe and Australia, reaching as high as number 11 in the U.K. An appearance on the radio version of Moby's "Jam for the Ladies" followed in 2003, and she was featured on the Prodigy's "Memphis Bells," which was paired with the group's single "Girls" on a limited-edition 12" in 2004.
Princess Superstar's fifth studio album, My Machine, was a concept album set in the year 2080, made with such high-profile dance producers Jacques Lu Cont, Junior Sanchez, Armand Van Helden, and Arthur Baker. It arrived on Studio !K7 in 2005, the same year she released two mix albums in the Now Is the Winter of Our Discothèque series. She followed them with the mix album American Gigolo III in 2007. Also that year, a mashup of her 2005 single "Perfect" and Mason's 2006 instrumental "Exceeder" titled "Perfect (Exceeder)" reached number three in the U.K. and the Top 20 in several other European countries.
After a featured spot on Grandmaster Flash's 2009 LP The Bridge: Concept of a Culture, she returned to Corrupt Conglomerate for the studio album The New Evolution, released in 2012. Still presenting a distinctive, ambitious mix of irreverent rap and dance music, the EP I'm a Firecracker, followed in mid-2014. Around that time, she also debuted the reality show I Love Princess Superstar on her YouTube channel. She backed comedian Margaret Cho in a musical performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2015, and appeared on an episode of Comedy Central's Inside Amy Schumer in 2016. Using the pseudonym M.O.M., Kirschner returned in 2018 with the children's album These Are the Magic Days. Curtis Curtis engineered and co-produced. ~ Stanton Swihart & Marcy Donelson