In The Spotlight: Tori Kelly

March 13, 2014

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It’s no surprise that Billboard named Tori Kelly as number 16 on their “21 under 21” list back in September, since the California soon-to-be superstar has beauty, brains, and show-stopping vocals.

However, the 21-year old put in years of work before her career started to take off. She appeared on the shows “Star Search” and “America’s Most Talented Kids” (where she won and beat country cutie Hunter Hayes) and was signed to Geffen Records at the tender age of 12 before being dropped a little while later.

Kelly made it through to Hollywood week on Season 9 of “American Idol”, but was eliminated before the Top 24 was picked. Not that this was a setback, because she soon started posting covers of popular songs to her YouTube channel on a regular basis at She now boasts over 800,000 subscribers and receives around 200,000 views on all her videos. Check out her progress from her first video of her cover of “Go Tell It on the Mountain” to her newest single, “Paper Hearts”.

On May 1, 2012 Kelly released her first six-song EP, titled “Handmade Songs”, which she labeled as a “warm-up” for a future full-length album. Her 2nd EP, “Foreword”, dropped on October 22, 2013 consists of five new songs. Currently under the management of Scooter Braun, Kelly will be working with some big-name artists such as Ed Sheeran (who she opened for at Madison Square Garden back in November) and Pharrell for her next release.

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Her most recent performances include International Women’s Day Celebration on March 8th and SXSW on the 11th. Her next stop is at The Victorian Room in The Driskill Hotel on March 14th in Texas, but it’s probably safe to say that she will do a small tour later on similar to her April 2013 eight-date “Fill a Heart” tour. With her pop and soul/R&B flare and ability to play the guitar, piano and drums, the possibilities are endless for Tori Kelly. All updates can be found at,, and

Got some comments to share with us about Tori Kelly? Tweet them to @weknowthedj and share with us who we should shine our spotlight on next.

-Lauren Fabiszak (@kidrauhlsjonas)

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