Beth Ditto Will Star with Susan Sarandon in a Country Music TV Drama

Gossip girl enters her Connie Britton era??

By Conner Reed September 10, 2021

Beth Ditto performing with Gossip at Roskilde Festival in 2012

It's a big end-of-week for country fans: this morning, twang-pop superstar Kacey Musgraves released her divorce album and its accompanying short film; yesterday, Variety announced that Portland rocker/fashion fixture Beth Ditto will appear in Monarch, a country music drama that premieres on Fox in January.

Monarch will star Trace Adkins as a country singer known as "The Texas Truthteller," and Susan Sarandon as his wife, Dottie Cantrell Roman (it is safe to say we have never anticipated a wig reveal so breathlessly in our lives). Ditto will play Gigi, the couple's talented-but-insecure daughter.

This may be Ditto's first time at the rodeo (all told, we did not call to ask if she's been to any rodeos, and maybe it's presumptive of us to say Monarch will feature one), but it is not her first time onscreen. In 2018, she appeared in fellow Portlander Gus Van Sant's John Callahan biopic Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, and the following year, beside Kirsten Dunst in the main cast of Showtime's On Becoming a God in Central Florida.

She's best known, though, as the powerhouse lead singer of indie rock band (The) Gossip, which she formed in Olympia in 1999. Ditto moved to Portland in 2003, and left her band in 2016 to pursue a solo career. Parallel to her music, she's also dabbled heavily in fashion, with two plus-sized clothing lines to her name, stints modeling for the likes of Gucci and Gaultier, and a 2012 MAC cosmetics line.

Monarch will premiere on Fox on January 30, filling a Nashville and Empire-sized hole for all who crave the suds of a music-themed primetime soap. Check out Ditto in the video for Gossip's 2009 hit "Heavy Cross" below, just because:

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