This year marks 12 years since the tragic on-stage shooting of Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. The tragedy led to an increase in security checks at venues across the world where we thought that something like this would be highly unlikely to happen again. That is, until June 11 when the music world was stunned to hear of the fatal shooting of young singer Christina Grimmie following a show in Orlando, Florida as she was speaking to fans on the home leg of American pop-rockers Before You Exit’s US tour.
Christina’s father first noticed her singing ability at the tender age of just six and by the age of ten, she was playing piano which she said she learnt by ear despite having lessons. At the age of fifteen, Christina began uploading videos to her YouTube channel in 2009 with the first being her own rendition of Hannah Montana’s Don’t Wanna Be Torn. Her covers earned her over two million subscribers and three hundred and seventy-five million views by April 2013. She was discovered by former Disney child star and pop sensation Selena Gomez’s mother Mandy Teefy, with her and her husband Brian soon becoming Christina’s managers.
In 2011, she released her debut EP Find Me, which debuted at 35 in the Billboard 200 and 6 in the Billboard independent albums charts and performed as a backing singer for Selena Gomez & the Scene, toured on the inaugural DigiTour, an event created as a platform for YouTube artists as well as being the opening act for Selena on the We Own the Night tour. She also performed at the AMA (American Music Awards) pre-show alongside Taio Cruz. In 2012, she moved from her New Jersey hometown to Los Angeles and was signed to Creative Artists Agency before going on to star in Disney.com’s web show Power Up: with Christina Grimmie. Christina again opened for mentor Selena on the North American leg of her Stars Dance Tour. In 2013, Christina released debut album With Love which debuted at 101 on the Billboard Music 200 and at 20 in the Billboard Independent Albums charts. The album featured a track written by British songstress Pixie Lott.
In 2014, Christina auditioned for season six of NBC’s The Voice, her cover of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball saw all four judges turn around and she chose Maroon 5’s Adam Levine as mentor. Christina went on to finish third in the series and four of her performances charted in the top 10 on iTunes. With interest from mentor Adam and rapper Lil Wayne, Christina decided to sign with Island Records and began working on her third release, a second album while on The Voice’s 2014 Summer tour, however in early 2015, she was dropped from Island Records and announced a new album would be released in late 2015. She won iHeartRadio’s Rising Star contest in the same year, earning her a slot opening the iHeartRadio Music Festival in September 2015, in the same month, she joined Sir Paul McCartney and fourteen other artists to record charity single Love Song to the Earth. 2015 also saw Christina join pop-rockers Before You Exit on their UK and European tour.
February 2016 saw Christina release her second EP Side A and debuted at number 26 on the US Billboard Independent albums chart, indicating in an interview that Side B was set to follow. She also opened for Rachel Platten on her Wildfire tour. She is set to appear in film The Matchbreaker which is expected to be released in late 2016, however her role was filmed in 2015.
Christina’s music and talent inspired many and her vocal range even stunned the likes of Shakira who stated, while a coach on The Voice, that her range was “out of this world”. Following her death, tributes have been pouring in from across the world and we here at AltCorner express our deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of Christina.
RIP Christina Grimmie, March 12, 1994 – June 11, 2016