YouTube and iTunes sensation, Lindsey Stirling, has astounded worldwide audiences with her animated dancing and unconventional violin performance of original tunes, hip-hop, and classical music. Her playful, yet precise, performances bring excitement, laughter, and joy, with her fun sense of humor shining through in her amazing choreographed violin pieces. She is a shining star, remaining unafraid of critics and instead hoping to encourage her fans to be true to who they are.
Lindsey was born 21 September 1986, in Santa Ana, California, and moved to Gilbert, Arizona, when she was eight. She resided in Provo, Utah, when she was a student at Brigham Young University to study filmmaking and then changed her major to therapeutic recreation. To earn money for college she entered the “America’s Junior Miss Pageant.” Surrounded by girls in elegant evening gowns, she performed violin rock songs with spiked hair and high socks. She won the talent competition in her city, state, and nationally.
She is classically trained in violin, however, in pursuing her musical goals, she developed her brand of choreographed dubstep violin performances. She confesses to learning how to dance by studying YouTube tutorials. At the age of 16, Lindsey became “Burnt out” on classical music and joined a pop-punk rock band, “Stomp on Melvin.” It was there that she discovered the versatility of the violin. When the band members all left to serve LDS missions, she started writing music to her favorite radio hits and eventually started writing her own music. She explains that it is important to her to write a variety of music that has a fresh style that is always new.
Her followers on YouTube helped her to reach over 675 million views, leading to Billboard hits that topped the charts and sold out worldwide tours. As of mid-November 2017, Lindsey’s YouTube channel has garnered more than 10 million subscribers and her music videos have been viewed over 2 billion times. She also has two Billboard Music Awards to her credit.
According to the “About” section of her official website, “She’s created a new music world where modern classical meets the infectious energy of dance and electronica. On stage, Stirling moves with the grace of a ballerina but works the crowd into a frenzy, “dropping the beat” like a rave fairy.”
Struggling with an eating disorder in her early adulthood, Lindsey turned to her love of violin music for comfort. In 2010, she competed on America’s Got Talent. Dubbed the “hip hop violinist,” she wowed the judges until the quarterfinals. She was only 23 years of age at the time, and the judges declared her as not being marketable enough to sell out shows. However, despite the significant blow, Lindsey turned to YouTube and continued to do what she loved.
A lot of people have told me along the way that my style and the music I do . . . is unmarketable,” Lindsey said. “But the only reason I’m successful is that I have stayed true to myself. My musical style [reflects] my personality, and through it, I hope to share my belief that no one should be afraid to be themselves. All my songs were created to depict specific themes that I pulled from my life experiences.”
Over the following years, Lindsey became a YouTube sensation, even performing on stage with renowned artists like Pentatonix and John Legend, and performing in places like London, Italy, and Kenya.
Her professional journey began in September 2012 with the release of her freshman self-titled album on 18 September 2012, which included her smash hit “Crystalize” which quickly went viral, and to date has garnered more than 183 million YouTube views. About the song “Crystalize,” Lindsey commented, “’Crystalize’ is a much deeper song: the crystallization of water is affected by its surroundings to create either beautiful patterns or meaningless masses. Similarly, I believe that through our thoughts, beliefs and the environments we create, we each possess the power to make a positive change within ourselves and others.”
The album showcased her violin-electronic-dubstep style with ten original tracks, showcasing her most popular pieces. The album reached #1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Chart and Classical Album Chart earned her a 2014 Billboard Music Award nomination for “Top Dance/Electronic Album,” peaked at #23 on the Billboard Top 200, and was certified Gold by the RIAA.
In 2014, Lindsey released her sophomore album, Shatter Me, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart and has sold over a quarter million copies in the US. “I dug deep and poured my heart into Shatter Me,” Lindsey said. “Everything from the artwork to the music shares a cohesive message that I hope will inspire others to push their boundaries.” The album was #2 on the Billboard Year-End Dance Electronic Album Chart, #1 on the iTunes Album Chart, spent an impressive 21 weeks straight at the #1 spot on the Billboard Classical Album Chart, and was recently certified Gold by the RIAA. The smash single “Shatter Me” has over 76 million views on YouTube and took home the 2015 Billboard Music Award for “Top Dance/Electronic Album.”
In 2016, Lindsey released her first book with Simon& Schuster, a memoir called The Only Pirate at the Party which she co-wrote with her sister, Brook S. Passey. Released in January of 2016, the book debuted on the New York Times’ best-seller list and shares stories of Lindsey’s humble yet charmed childhood, humorous adolescence, life as a struggling musician, personal struggles with anorexia, and finally, success as a world-class entertainer.
To date, Lindsey’s tours have sold over 500,000 headline tickets worldwide. She has teamed up with artist/writer Darick Robertson and co-writer R. Eric Lieb to create a new comic book series called Sparrow. She has released her 2017 Christmas album via Concord Records titled Warmer in the Winter. And she is presently a contestant on ABCs Dancing with the Stars.
Lindsey Stirling is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served an 18-month mission in New York. She continues to use her social media platform to motivate and inspire her viewers. Overcoming her challenges and setbacks, Lindsey exemplifies how to have confidence and be yourself. In her spare time, she is a motivational speaker and even participated in an LDS Youth Face to Face event. Her music is available on YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify.
She advises aspiring artists to take every opportunity for exposure. “It’s through doing a lot of the free stuff in the beginning that I have had the opportunity to do really cool things. I’ve done things like open mike nights and being a part of other artist recordings, just doing all these things. Also, don’t give up. You are going to receive 99% rejection at first. Just be resilient to it. It only takes one person; only one person must believe in you. So, you have to handle the rejections and have hope.”
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