She was born and raised in the affluent Djursholm district of Danderyd, just north of Stockholm, and is an alumna of the musical magnet school Rytmus Musikergymnasiet. She formed the Swedish rock band "Tremblebee" in 2006.
Following the disbanding of Tremblebee, she pursued a career in songwriting and earned a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music in 2011. Working with producers Alexander Kronlund, Max Martin, and Xenomania, she became a successful songwriter recording and independently releasing her own compositions. In 2014, she was signed to Max Martin's songwriting collective Wolf Cousins and was offered a recording deal. She signed to the American label Island and Polydor Records in the UK.
Lo rose to fame with the release of her debut album, Queen of the Clouds, which opened at number 14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 in October 2014. The album spawned the sleeper hit single, "Habits (Stay High)", which peaked at number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
Her second album, Lady Wood, was released on October 28, 2016, opening at number 11 on the U.S. Billboard 200. It was promoted by the single "Cool Girl". Her third album, Blue Lips was released on November 17, 2017.
In addition to her solo work, Lo has cowritten a number of songs for other singers, including Lorde's "Homemade Dynamite" and Ellie Goulding's "Love Me like You Do", a song that garnered her first Grammy Award nomination for the 58th Grammy Awards. She has collaborated with Coldplay, Flume, Alesso, Nick Jonas, Adam Lambert, Years & Years, Seven Lions, Broods, Lucas Nord, Urban Cone, and Wiz Khalifa.
Deemed "Sweden's darkest pop export" by Rolling Stone, Tove Lo is known for her raw, grunge-influenced take on pop music. Her characteristically honest, complex and autobiographical lyrical content has led to her being dubbed "the saddest girl in Sweden" by a number of media sources.