Lindsey Stirling

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Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling.jpg
Stirling performing at TEDxBerkeley, 2012
Background information
Born(1986-09-21) September 21, 1986 (age 27)
Santa Ana, California, U.S.
GenresElectronic, classical crossover, dubstep
OccupationsMusician, performance artist, composer, dancer
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Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling.jpg
Stirling performing at TEDxBerkeley, 2012
Background information
Born(1986-09-21) September 21, 1986 (age 27)
Santa Ana, California, U.S.
GenresElectronic, classical crossover, dubstep
OccupationsMusician, performance artist, composer, dancer

Lindsey Stirling (born September 21, 1986)[1] is an American violinist, dancer, performance artist, and composer. She presents choreographed violin performances, both live and in music videos found on her YouTube channel, Lindseystomp, which she introduced in 2007.[2] In 2010, Stirling was a quarter-finalist on America's Got Talent season five, where she was known as the Hip-hop Violinist.[3][4]

Since 2010, Stirling has released a self-titled album, an EP, and several singles. She performs a variety of music styles, from classical to pop and hip-hop to electronic dance music. Aside from original work, her discography contains covers of songs by other musicians and various soundtracks.[5][6] Stirling is also a YouTube sensation: her music video "Crystallize" finished as the eighth-most watched video of 2012,[7] and her cover version of "Radioactive" with Pentatonix won Response of the Year in the first YouTube Music Awards in 2013.[8] Her YouTube channel had, as of March 2014, more than four million subscribers and 560 million total views.[9]

Early life[edit]

Stirling was born in Santa Ana, California, but spent a portion of her childhood in Gilbert, Arizona and graduated from Mesquite High School.[10] She moved to Provo, Utah to attend Brigham Young University to study recreational therapy. She went on to perform missionary work in New York City for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[11][12] Stirling returned home to Provo in 2009 to continue studying at BYU. She resided there until December 2012, when she moved back to Arizona with her family. Currently she lives in Los Angeles, California.[13]

At the age of five, after being influenced by the classical music records played by her father, Stirling began to study the violin. She took private lessons for twelve years. When she was sixteen, she joined a rock band in Mesquite High School with four friends called "Stomp on Melvin". As part of her experience with Stomp on Melvin, Stirling wrote a solo violin rock song, and her performance helped her to win the state title of Arizona's Junior Miss and claim the Spirit Award in the America's Junior Miss Finals competition.[10] Stirling was also a member of Charley Jenkins Band for about a year.[14]


In 2010, at the age of 23, Stirling was a quarter-finalist on season five of America's Got Talent, where she was described as a "hip hop violinist".[3][4] Stirling's performances were dubbed "electrifying" by the judges, and won the acclaim of the audience, but after she attempted to step up the dance level in her quarter-final performance, judge Piers Morgan told her: "You're not untalented, but you're not good enough to get away with flying through the air and trying to play the violin at the same time." Sharon Osbourne commented: "You need to be in a group. ... What you're doing is not enough to fill a theater in Vegas." In her blog, Stirling confided: "I was devastated at the results ... It was painful, and a bit humiliating; however, I had to relearn where it was that I drew my strength."[15][16] Stirling decided to continue to embrace her unique style of performance, promoting herself on the Internet. In a 2012 interview she remarked: "A lot of people have told me along the way that my style and the music I do ... is unmarketable. But the only reason I'm successful is because I have stayed true to myself."[17]

Shortly after her performance on America's Got Talent, cinematographer Devin Graham (DevinSuperTramp) contacted her in hopes of making a YouTube video together. They agreed to shoot a music video for her song, "Spontaneous Me". It was filmed the week of May 9, 2011. The video boosted Stirling's popularity, and she began making music videos for her YouTube channel regularly. Graham has filmed almost all of her videos, while Stirling often does backup camera work and assists with his music videos. Stirling's YouTube channel, Lindseystomp, which she created in 2007 and which is named after her first band Stomp on Melvin, is the main repository for her music videos. During 2011, the channel rapidly gained popularity and has over 519 million total views and over four million subscribers, as of January 2014.[18] Her music is featured on Pandora, Spotify, and Last.FM.[19] Stirling also created a second YouTube channel, LindseyTime, in September 2012, in which she posts videos related to her life, vlogs, behind-the-scenes content, etc.

Stirling performing at VidCon 2012

Stirling has experimented in combining violin playing with hip hop and dubstep.[20] Stirling's collaborations with other musicians and singers have included Shaun Barrowes ("Don't Carry It All" – The Decemberists), Jake Bruene and Frank Sacramone ("Party Rock Anthem" – LMFAO), Tay Zonday ("Mama Economy"), Peter Hollens ("Skyrim", "A Thousand Years", "Game of Thrones" and "Star Wars"), Alisha Popat ("We Found Love"), John Allred ("Tomb"), Amiee Proal ("A Thousand Years"), Megan Nicole ("Starships"), The Piano Guys ("Mission Impossible"), Debi Johanson ("River Flows In You"), Sam Tsui ("Heads Up"), Tyler Ward ("Thrift Shop"), Kurt Hugo Schneider ("Pokemón Dubstep Remix" and "A Thousand Years"), John Legend ("All of Me") and Pentatonix ("Radioactive").[21] She has also collaborated with the Salt Lake Pops orchestra and Alex Boye.[22] Stirling's debut album was released on September 18, 2012 in conjunction with a North American tour that same month.

Stirling completed her first US tour on November 26, 2012. She announced her second tour as well as a "test tour" for Europe on December 3, 2012, which kicked off in January 2013. The tour covered 55 cities throughout Europe, Canada and the US and ended in Arizona on April 5, 2013. On February 25, 2013, Stirling announced her official European tour, which kicked off in Russia on May 22, 2013 and ended in Norrkoping, Sweden, June 29, with a total of 26 cities covered.[citation needed]

In December 2012, YouTube announced that Stirling's song, "Crystallize", was the #8 top-viewed video of 2012 with over 42 million views.[23] In 2013, Stirling was featured by the LDS Church in its "I'm a Mormon" campaign in which she spoke openly about how her faith helped in her battle with anorexia during high school and college.[24][25]

On April 22, 2013, it was announced that Lady Gaga's manager (Troy Carter) inked a deal with Stirling after being impressed of her rise in the media. "By looking at the numbers, automatically you could see this girl knew how to move the needle and understood YouTube was a venue to engage fans both online and offline," Carter said. Stirling, who had previously refused to work with other management companies explained her new deal with Carter: "But with Atom Factory, they were up to date on current things and trying new stuff all the time, and I felt so creatively alive when I met with them."[26]

On June 21, 2013, Stirling received her first golden certification for her album, Lindsey Stirling, in Germany[27] and in the next month, she earned golden certifications from Switzerland and Austria. On August 2, 2013, Billboard announced that Stirling's studio album had sold more than 158,000 copies in the United States and that she was the second best-selling artist on the Classical Crossover charts in 2013, behind Andrea Bocelli.[28]

In June 2013 she performed at Miss Switzerland[29] and in July 2013, she joined Nathan Pacheco, The Orchestra At Temple Square and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the 21,000-seat Conference Center in Salt Lake City, UT for their annual Pioneer Day concert.[30] Stirling also announced her first ever tour dates in Australia, South Korea and Japan. Stirling's YouTube channel reached three million subscribers on August 31[31] and on September 4, after almost a year of touring, she completed her world tour with her last appearance in London. On September 12, Stirling performed at the Dreamball 2013 charity gala at Ritz Carlton in Berlin, Germany.[32] In September 29, 2013, Stirling announced on her official website that she had started making her second album.[33]

After almost a year of its official release, Stirling's self titled studio album was re-released on October 29 of 2013, as an exclusive deluxe version featuring newly recorded versions and remixes of her best-known songs such as "Crystallize", "Elements", and "Transcendence". Target carried four bonus tracks while all other retailers had two additional tracks.[34] Lindsey sold 10,000 copies of her extended-version album on the first week of sales, becoming a new record for her and her album as it peaked from No. 79 to No. 23, becoming its highest position in Billboard 200.[35] Days before, she had performed on Conan on October 24, 2013.

On November 3, 2013, Stirling and Pentatonix's version of "Radioactive" won a YouTube Music Award in the category Response of the Year. Stirling also performed during the live-streamed event.[8][36] On December 16, Stirling announced the first tour dates on Canada and United States of her new 2014 World Tour;[37] some of the pre-sales were sold out after the first day of selling[38] and the first concert to be sold out was in Portland on the 29th of January.[39]

Stirling appeared on several of Billboard's 2013 Year-End Charts, notably number three in "Classical Album Artists",[40] number two in "Classical Albums" for Lindsey Stirling,[41] and number three in "Dance/Electronic Albums" for the same album.[42] At the beginning of 2014, Stirling's self-titled album hit gold on Poland,[43] received its first platinum certification in Germany[44] and later on in Austria.[45] Stirling received her first RIAA golden certification on February 4th for her hit single "Crystallize".[46] On February 26th Stirling released for the first time her debut album in France which entered in number 17 selling 4,900 copies in its first week of sales.[47]

On March 5, 2014, Stirling began her second world tour at the El Plaza Condesa in Mexico City.

In 2014, Stirling was nominated for the Echo (music award) in two categories: "Crossover National/International" and "Newcomer International"


Since a young age, Stirling had a fascination for dance, such was her desire of taking dancing lessons and violin lessons at the time that she told on an interview with NewMediaRockstars: "ever since I was a kid, I've always wished that I could dance, but my parents said, 'You could choose violin or you could choose dance, but we can't afford both', and I chose violin. So this is kind of a fulfillment – it's funny to say, but this is something I've always wanted to do."[48]

The way she impressed the judges on America's Got Talent, apart from her mixing hip-hop and classical music on the violin, was by incorporating dancing while playing the violin, something that she does on her tours and her official music videos. On a live-chat Stirling explained: "It is very unnatural to dance while playing the violin. I had to practice so hard to learn how to do it but now it is part of my expression and it comes naturally. I have to know a song perfectly before I can even begin to move. Once I know a song really well I can then have fun dancing." Not only in her performances, but also with her music, dancing made a huge impact: "I loved dance music so I started with that and wrote transcendence, Electric daisy and spontaneous me."[49]

In October 2013, Stirling announced she would take part in season three of Dance Showdown, a dance competition web series created by DanceOn where the winner is awarded US$50,000.[50] Stirling finished between the three finalists but didn't win the fifty thousand dollars, despite that she received critical acclaim on her three performances with her partner Anze Skrube. One of the three judges, Laurieann Gibson, classified her second performance as "one of the best" in Dance Showdown and the last one as the best she had ever seen.


On October 1, 2013, Stirling teamed with the non-profit Atlanta Music Project to help spread appreciation of music to children who might not otherwise have the chance. The Atlanta Music Project's mission was "to inspire social change by providing Atlanta's under-served youth the opportunity to learn and perform music in orchestras and choirs." For this, Stirling made available two limited edition Lindsey Stirling/The Power of Music shirts. The money collected from the selling of those shirts went directly to the Atlanta Music Project with the goal of raising enough together to provide music training for 50 children.[51]


Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsSalesCertifications


Lindsey Stirling2311214510

Singles and EPs[edit]



Stirling's first tour lasted almost a year with 122 dates around North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The Lindsey Stirling Tour began three days before the CD release of her first album: Lindsey Stirling. Her tour began with dates around United States and Canada in 2012. At the beginning of 2013, Stirling continued her tour in Europe as a "test tour". Her official European leg kicked off in Russia on May 22, 2013. In August, she continued her tour adding dates around Asia and Australia.[70] Finishing her tour, Stirling added a last date in the UK on September 4. The shows proved to be a success as 46 dates were sold out and on the audience gave a rate to the tour of 4.8 over 5 stars.[71]


Abbreviated list of music videos
DateTitleDirector(s)YouTube views
May 18, 2011"Spontaneous Me"Devin Graham15,812,895Original video
July 29, 2011"Transcendence"Nathan D. Lee & Erich Cannon8,744,931Original video
September 11, 2011"River Flows In You" (with Debbi Johanson)Devin Graham11,710,470Cover
October 11, 2011"By No Means" (with Epicc)Sean Haggel1,683,108Original video
November 3, 2011"Electric Daisy Violin"Devin Graham21,931,097Original video
November 26, 2011"Zelda Medley"Devin Graham15,534,619Medley of Zelda game music by Koji Kondo
December 7, 2011"Silent Night"Devin Graham3,020,758Cover
December 19, 2011"Celtic Carol"Devin Graham4,514,445Original video
December 19, 2011"Lord of the Rings Medley"Devin Graham18,550,442Music by Howard Shore. Filmed in New Zealand.
January 9, 2012"Shadows"Devin Graham35,860,407Filmed at the Ensoul warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah
February 23, 2012"Crystallize"Devin Graham89,009,336Filmed at Ice Castles in Silverthorne, Colorado[72]
May 7, 2012"Skyrim" (with Peter Hollens)Devin Graham33,146,565Medley of Skyrim game music by Jeremy Soule
May 7, 2012"We Found Love" (with Alishia Popat)Devin Graham19,742,054Cover, with changed lyrics. Filmed in Kenya, sponsored by VenTribe.
June 10, 2012"Starships" (with Megan Nicole)Devin Graham7,743,057Filmed at the Ensoul warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah
July 31, 2012"Phantom of the Opera"Lindsey Stirling (also edited, and produced)15,204,928Locations: Capitol Theater in Salt Lake City and the Velour in Provo, Utah
August 14, 2012"Come With Us" (with Can't Stop Won't stop)Devin Graham2,266,190Original video
September 5, 2012"Game of Thrones" (with Peter Hollens)FifGenFilms4,106,183Medley of Game of Thrones music
September 18, 2012"Elements" (Original Version)Devin Graham39,492,903Filmed at the Ensoul warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah
October 23, 2012"Moon Trance"Nathan D. Lee & Katie Schwarz18,271,036Original video
November 5, 2012"Assassin's Creed III"Jace Leroy13,684,395Medley of Assassin's Creed III music
November 29, 2012"Song Of The Caged Bird"Nathan D. Lee5,121,442Original video
November 29, 2012"What Child Is This"Unknown5,232,701Cover
January 15, 2013"Thrift Shop" (with Tyler Ward)Unknown9,752,238Cover
January 22, 2013"Mission Impossible"Paul Anderson and Tel Stewart2,828,842
Piano Sonata No. 16, K. 545, first movement
The Piano Guys arrangement and original material written by Steven Sharp Nelson, Al van der Beek, Jon Schmidt, and Stirling
May 23, 2013Halo theme (with William Joseph)Devin Graham6,502,533Cover. Video features cosplay by members of
March 12, 2013"Radioactive" (with Pentatonix)FifGenFilms61,973,157Cover
October 11, 2013"Elements" (Orchestral Version)NBC3,572,480A video remix for the TV show Dracula on NBC
October 26, 2013"All of Me" (with John Legend)FifGenFilms10,898,179Cover of John Legend's song for the Ubisoft video game Child of Light
November 14, 2013"Minimal Beat"Klepticenter Productions2,996,385Filmed in various cities globally
February 06, 2014"Stars Align"Nathan D. Lee2,643,837Choreography made by Anze Skrube. Filmed in studio with SFX Effects by PlayFight. Premiered on Yahoo Music before Youtube.[73]
  1. ^ Additional 5,085,677 views on The Piano Guys YouTube channel


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  21. ^ Gary Trust, Pentatonix Covers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 'Thrift Shop' At Billboard HQ, Billboard (April 4, 2013): "Pentatonix's new video is a collaboration with violinist (and recent Chart Beat Meet & Great spotlight artist) Lindsey Stirling, a cover of Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive," the original of which has topped Alternative Songs for seven weeks and this week bounds 15-7 on the Hot 100. The reworked "Radioactive" has garnered 775,000 YouTube views, while Pentatonix's official YouTube channel has drawn an astounding 63 million views".
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  71. ^ "Fan Reviews - Ticketmaster". Lindsey Stirling. Ticketmaster. 
  72. ^ "Ice Castles". Crystalize. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. "Well, it turns out that that shortly after it was posted, the video became the most viral video globally for about a week. It finished the year as #9 on all of Youtube for 2012 and currently has over 80,000,000 hits." 
  73. ^ "See it First! Viral Sensation Lindsey Stirling Premieres Clip for 'Stars Align'". Yahoo Music!. 6th February 2014. Retrieved 10th March 2014. 

External links[edit]