Victoria Loren Kelly (born December 14, 1992) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. Kelly first gained recognition after posting videos on YouTube as a teenager, and appeared as a semi-finalist on the ninth season of American Idol in 2010. Thereafter, she independently released her self-produced debut EP in 2012, Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly. In 2013, after Scooter Braun became her manager, Kelly signed with Capitol Records. Her second EP and first major-label release, Foreword (2013), followed soon after. Kelly's debut studio album Unbreakable Smile (2015) peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States with its lead single, "Nobody Love", marking her first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Kelly at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival
Victoria Loren Kelly
December 14, 1992
Wildomar, California, U.S.
André Murillo (m. 2018)
|Origin||Canyon Lake, California, U.S.|
Kelly was nominated for Best New Artist at the 58th Grammy Awards, and voiced Meena in the animated film Sing (2016). Her second studio album Hiding Place (2018) peaked at number 35 on the Billboard 200 chart and received two Grammy Awards, for Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Performance/Song respectively.
Life and careerEdit
1992–2009: Early life and career beginningsEdit
Kelly was born in Wildomar, California. Her father, Allwyn, is of Jamaican and Puerto Rican ancestry, while her mother, Laura, is of Irish and German descent. She has a younger brother named Noah, born August 29, 1996. Growing up, she was exposed to a variety of music by her parents. "I give them a lot of credit for just playing all different genres, and no genre was off limits," she said when asked about her upbringing. Kelly is a Christian. Faith plays a part in her songwriting, though she does not consider herself a part of the Christian music genre. Kelly appeared on the show Star Search, but lost to vocalist Tiffany Evans, who won the title of Junior Champion in the junior singer division.
In 2004, she participated on America's Most Talented Kids, singing Christina Aguilera's "Keep on Singin' My Song" and won, beating out musician Hunter Hayes. She made a second appearance on the show in the Tournament of Champions, but lost to Antonio Pontarelli, a rock musician. At age twelve, Kelly accepted a record deal with Geffen Records, but both sides agreed to end the contract due to creative differences. In 2007, Kelly began posting videos to YouTube, at the age of 14. The first video she uploaded was a cover of John Wesley Work Jr.'s "Go Tell It on the Mountain", which she originally performed back in December 2004. Kelly gained recognition for her acoustic cover, with a fellow YouTuber named Angie Girl, of Frank Ocean's "Thinkin Bout You".
Despite failing to reach the top 24 on "American Idol," she took a new tack in her music, learning how to play the guitar, composing original song pieces, and recording them herself on her computer. Tori began posting her performances on YouTube, and quickly reached over 1,000,000 subscribers.
2010–2014: Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly and ForewordEdit
In 2010, Tori auditioned for Season 9 of American Idol in Denver, Colorado and made it through to Hollywood Week but did not reach the "Top 24" of the artists. She had claimed that 'she was devastated' but she had 'given it her all'. Afterwards, she was asked to take part in a youth version of the 1985 charity song "We Are the World" titled "We Are the World: The Next Generation". On May 1, 2012, she released her first EP, titled Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly, which was released on her own label, Toraay Records. Kelly wrote, produced, engineered, and recorded the EP by herself in her bedroom. Shortly after its release, the EP made it to the Top 10 Pop Albums list on iTunes. She called the EP a "warm up" to a full-length album that was to come in the future. As of 2013, it had sold more than 14,000 copies and reached number nine on the US Heatseekers Albums chart.
In February 2013, Kelly released a single called "Fill a Heart", which she wrote for the "Child Hunger Ends Here" campaign by ConAgra Foods and Feeding America. The song was later performed by British boy band The Wanted on Dancing With the Stars. Starting in April 2013, Kelly performed at eight venues across continental U.S. for her "Fill a Heart" tour, helping out at the cities' food banks during the day. She has performed in venues such as the Troubador and the Roxy in Los Angeles, the Gramercy Theater in New York and Bush Hall in London. She has also been featured in magazines such as Teen Vogue, Elle and Glamour.
During mid-2013, Kelly's newly assigned manager Scooter Braun introduced her to the heads of Capitol Records. She had been "very skeptical" about signing with a major record label in fear that things would not work out in her favor. "I'd been burned before. But when I met those guys, I had never felt that way: They were fans and really got me." On September 6, 2013 she was signed to Capitol Records.
In September 2013, she was picked as Elvis Duran's Artist of the Month and was featured on NBC's Today show hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, where she performed live her single "Dear No One". Kelly on The Today Show that her major label debut, a second EP, titled Foreword, would be released on October 22, 2013 on Capitol Records. By the end of November the EP had sold more than 16,000 copies, debuting at number 16 on the US Billboard 200. Kelly was the sole supporting act to Ed Sheeran at Madison Square Garden on November 1, 2013 and supported Sam Smith on his In the Lonely Hour UK tour in October 2014. Kelly wrote and recorded a song called "Silent" for The Giver: Music Collection, supporting the film adaptation (The Giver) of the novel The Giver, which was released on iTunes on August 5, 2014. On August 7, 2014, Kelly posted a live acoustic version of the song on her YouTube channel; which has over 2.6 million views as of October 2015. Kelly was featured on "Lullaby" by British rapper Professor Green, which was released in the United Kingdom on September 14, 2014. The song peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart, thus providing Kelly with her first British top ten hit. Kelly was featured on the medley "Winter Wonderland"/"Don't Worry Be Happy" on Pentatonix's album That's Christmas to Me that was released in October 2014. On December 1, 2014, it was announced that Tori Kelly was one of MTV's Artist's To Watch. She privately performed two songs for MTV: "Funny" and "Dear No One"; both can be found on her Artist To Watch page. Her "Funny" performance was aired on MTV for several weeks.
2015–2017: Unbreakable Smile and other projectsEdit
Throughout 2014, Kelly worked with Braun on her debut album in which she had contributions from Toby Gad, Max Martin, and Ed Sheeran. The lead single from the album, "Nobody Love", was released on February 8, 2015. It was written by Rickard Goransson, Max Martin, and Tori Kelly herself. Kelly performed "Nobody Love" at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. The album, entitled Unbreakable Smile, was released on June 23, 2015, and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. Kelly performed "Should've Been Us" at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. In October 2015, Kelly covered the song "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas on the We Love Disney album. "Hollow" was released on October 22, 2015 as the first single from the new edition of Unbreakable Smile. In the same month, Kelly became the brand-ambassador of William Rast, the clothing line co-founded by Justin Timberlake. In late 2015, Kelly received a nomination for Best New Artist at the 58th Grammy Awards. She performed at the ceremony with English singer James Bay. She became the first artist in history to perform a Christian pop song at the Grammy Awards.
Kelly recorded an updated version of "Baby Baby" with the song's original artist, Amy Grant. This recording commemorates the song's 25th anniversary and was released on April 29, 2016. Kelly made her cinematic debut in the animated movie Sing (2016), voicing Meena the elephant. On July 10, 2016, Kelly released an original song "Blink of an Eye" in honor of her friend Christina Grimmie, on the one-month anniversary of her killing during a meet and greet at The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida, on June 10, 2016 while on tour with Before You Exit. In September 2016, Kelly announced her engagement to basketball player André Murillo.
On May 7, 2017, Kelly played the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee opening for Soundgarden at what would be one of their final performances before frontman Chris Cornell committed suicide on May 17. On June 9, Kelly and rapper Lecrae, released the single "I'll Find You", with Kelly as the featured artist. The accompanying music video was released on July 28, 2017. It features various St. Jude Hospital patients, and Kelly and Lecrae singing over a black backdrop. It peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart, No. 1 on the Hot Christian Songs and No. 17 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart. She also collaborated with country singer Chris Lane on his single "Take Back Home Girl" which has since charted at #57 on the Billboard Hot 100.
2018–present: Hiding Place and upcoming third studio albumEdit
On March 30, 2018, Kelly released the single "Help Us to Love" featuring the HamilTones, which served as the lead single to her sophomore studio album. On May 20, 2018, she announced her and Murillo's marriage in an Instagram post. On August 23, Kelly revealed on her personal Instagram that her album, Hiding Place, would be released on September 14. The second single of the album, "Never Alone", was released on August 24. On September 7, Kelly announced a tour in support of the album. The Album won Best Gospel Album and "Never Alone" won Best Gospel Performance/Song at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.
On January 18, 2019, Kelly announced that she would be going on The Acoustic Sessions tour starting in February. Tickets went on sale on January 25th along with the release of her new lead single "Change Your Mind" for her upcoming third studio album.
|2004||America's Most Talented Kid|
|2010||American Idol||Season 9|
|2015||The Voice||Season 9 and Season 10 Battle Advisor for Team Adam|
|2016||The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60||Sang "The Rainbow Connection" with Kermit the Frog|
|Beat Bugs||Millie Pede||Episode: 24b|
|Sesame Street||Herself||Sang "Try a Little Kindness"|
- Fill a Heart Tour (2013)
- Where I Belong Tour (2015)
- Unbreakable Tour (2016)
- Hiding Place Tour (2018)
- The Acoustic Sessions (2019)
Awards and nominationsEdit
The following is a list of awards and nominations received by Tori Kelly.
|2018||Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational||I'll Find You (with Lecrae)||Won|||
|2019||"Never Alone" (with Kirk Franklin)||Pending|||
Billboard Music AwardsEdit
|2019||Top Gospel Artist||Herself||Nominated|
|Top Gospel Album||Hiding Place||Won|
|Top Gospel Song||“Never Alone” (with Kirk Franklin)||Nominated|
Billboard Women in MusicEdit
|2016||International Musician/ Solo Artist||Herself||Nominated|||
GMA Dove AwardsEdit
|2018||Song of the Year||"I'll Find You" (with Lecrae)||Nominated|||
|Short Form Video Of the Year||Won|
|2016||Best New Artist||Herself||Nominated|||
|2019||Best Gospel Album||Hiding Place||Won|||
|Best Gospel Performance/Song||"Never Alone" (with Kirk Franklin)||Won|
MTV Europe Music AwardsEdit
|2015||Best New Act||Herself||Nominated|||
|Best Push Act||Nominated|
|Artist on the Rise||Nominated|
NAACP Image AwardsEdit
|2019||Outstanding Gospel/Christian Album (Traditional or Contemporary)||"Hiding Place"||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Song – Traditional||"Never Alone"||Nominated|
People's Choice AwardsEdit
|2016||Favorite Breakout Artist||Herself||Nominated|||
Radio Disney Music AwardsEdit
|2016||Breakout Artist of the Year||Herself||Won|||
|Best Crush Song||"Should've Been Us"||Nominated|
|2018||Country Favorite Song||"Take Back Home Girl" (with Chris Lane)||Nominated|||
Soul Train AwardsEdit
|2018||Best Gospel/Inspirational Award||Herself||Nominated|||
|2019||Female Vocalist of the Year||Herself||Nominated|||
|Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year||Nominated|
|Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year||"Never Alone" (ft. Kirk Franklin)||Nominated|
|2015||Breakthrough Artist 1875||Herself||Nominated|||
Teen Choice AwardsEdit
|2015||Choice Web Star: Music||Herself||Nominated|||
|2017||Choice Movie Actress: Comedy||Herself||Nominated|||
VH1's Big Music in 2015: You Oughta KnowEdit
|2015||Artist of the Year||Herself||Nominated|||
YouTube Music AwardsEdit
|2015||50 Artists to Watch||Herself||Won|||
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- "The Giver: Music Collection". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "Tori Kelly – 'Silent' from The Giver movie soundtrack". Youtube.com. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
- "Professor Green – Lullaby ft. Tori Kelly". Youtube.com. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "Lullaby – Professor Green Feat. Tori Kelly". Hot40uk.com. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
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- "Tori Kelly & James Bay Mash-Up Their Hits "Hollow" and "Let It Go" at the 2016 Grammys". Billboard. February 16, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "Amy Grant Releasing Updated Version of 'Baby Baby' With Tori Kelly". Vintage Vinyl News. April 18, 2016.
- "Sing" (2016) – Sneak Peek. Usatoday.com (November 10, 2015). Retrieved on June 18, 2016.
- Tori Kelly (July 10, 2016), Tori Kelly - "Blink of an Eye" (Original), retrieved September 4, 2016
- "Tori Kelly Engaged to Basketball Player Andre Murillo". People Magazine. September 29, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
- "Soundgarden to Co-Headline 2017 Beale Street Music Festival". Loudwire. February 22, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Taylor Weatherby, Tori Kelly Weds Andre Murillo in Beautiful Mountainside Ceremony: See Photo, Billboard, May 20, 2018
- "BET Awards 2018 | Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award | Nominees".
- "BET Awards 2019 - Nominees".
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- GLAMOUR WOTY voting 2016. Demographix.com (February 25, 2014). Retrieved on June 18, 2016.
- "GMA Dove Awards 2018: See the Full Winners List". doveawards.com. August 8, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
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- "Taylor Swift Leads MTV EMAs With 9 Nominations". Billboard. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
- "50th NAACP Image Awards: Nominations". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- "People's Choice Awards 2016: See the Full List of Winners Here". Billboard. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- Radio Disney Music Awards Nominations 2016 — Full List Of Nominees Revealed. Hollywood Life (March 4, 2016). Retrieved on June 18, 2016.
- "Shawn Mendes & Meghan Trainor Lead Radio Disney Music Awards 2018 Nominations". Billboard.com. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
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