December 14, 1992
Wildomar, California, United States
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A regular of the TV talent show, singer-songwriter Tori Kelly actually kickstarted her career as a YouTuber, going on to achieve major chart success and Grammy recognition with a powerhouse soul-pop sound. Born in Wildomar, CA in 1992, Kelly began her quest for fame at an early age, appearing on the brief revival of "Star Search" (CBS, 2003-04) at ten, and the second season of "America's Most Talented Kids" (NBC, 2003-06) a year later where she triumphed over future country star Hunter Hayes in the final. After a deal with Geffen Records at the age of twelve came to nothing, Kelly began building an audience on YouTube with various cover versions, but soon returned to the TV talent show format when she entered Season 9 of "American Idol" (Fox, 2002-2016). Kelly made it to Hollywood week but after failing to earn a place in the final 24, she decided to do things independently, writing, producing and engineering her debut E.P, Handmade Songs, which she also released through her own Tooray Records label in 2012. Kelly's YouTube following proved to be just as receptive to these self-penned compositions, while signings with Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun and Capitol Records then helped introduce her talents to a much wider audience. In 2013, Kelly reached No.16 on the Billboard 200 with her second E.P. Foreword, and supported Ed Sheeran at his Madison Square Garden gig, while a year later she guested on Professor Green's UK Top 10 hit, "Lullaby," and appeared on the soundtrack to young adult film "The Giver" (2014). Home to the US Hot 100 singles "Nobody Love," "Should've Been Us" and "Hollow," debut album, Unbreakable Smile may have left Simon Cowell and co. regretting their decision when it peaked at No. 2 in the US, and scored a Best New Artist Grammy nomination in 2016.