Lindsey Stirling (born September 21, 1986) 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. In 2010, Stirling was a quarter-finalist on America’s Got Talent season five, where she was known as the Hip-hop Violinist.
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. Stirling is also a YouTube sensation: her music video “Crystallize” finished as the eighth-most watched video of 2012, and her cover version of “Radioactive” with Pentatonix won Response of the Year in the first YouTube Music Awards in 2013. Her YouTube channel had, as of April 2014, more than four million subscribers and 600 million total views.
2010: America’s Got Talent
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”. 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.” 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.”
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First Published: Jun 3, 2014