Steve Lacy Calls 2020 Car Accident a 'Wake-Up Call' That Changed His Perspective: 'Spiritual Thing'

The "Bad Habit" singer is nominated for four awards at this year's Grammys

Musician Steve Lacy visits SiriusXM Studios on September 23, 2022 in New York City.
Steve Lacy. Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty

A near-fatal car accident gave Grammy-nominated musician Steve Lacy some much-needed perspective.

The "Bad Habit" singer, 24, opened up to Variety in its annual Hitmakers issue about the ways in which the 2020 wreck — which he said at the time was caused by a drunk driver — helped him reevaluate the trajectory of both his career and his life.

"I had a car accident, actually, in 2020, and I think it was a wake-up call in some ways. And the message was: stop playing," he said. "I think it really gave me a second to just take a step back and just observe everything that's happened over the years."

He continued: "What am I still holding onto that I need to let go of? It was a spiritual thing that hit me and was like: Oh, OK. I've got to step back and look at how I started, who I've always been as a kid, the relationships I have with certain people, the work that I've done."

Lacy tasted success at a young age, and was nominated for his first Grammy Award at age 17. The musician said that he'd never really had a chance to process what that meant, and as he tried to grow, felt he was "hitting a wall" and was "in my own way, almost."

After the accident, Lacy said he became more honest and transparent, and took that same attitude into the studio.

"After the accident happened, it gave me a chance to be like, OK, I need to move forward," he said. "It was sad for me but I had to get over it, and I finally let that go and then I was — boom — in my new process."

Lacy posted about his 2020 car accident shortly after it happened in a since-deleted Instagram post that featured photos of him standing in front of his totaled Tesla.

"that i'm still alive glow hit different. Please don't drink n drive people," he wrote at the time. "this drunk f— hit me head on and ran. def accepted my fate, but we still here. black lives matter tho bish we not done."

Lacy has had a breakthrough 2022 thanks to the viral success of "Bad Habit," which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is currently nominated for record of the year, song of the year and best pop solo performance at the Grammys. His July album Gemini Rights is also up for best progressive R&B album.

He was also the musical guest on Saturday Night Live last month.

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