Since Tori Kelly released her debut full-length album in June, there has been no denying she is one of Hollywood’s most powerful voices. “Unbreakable Smile,” hit #2 on the Billboard Top 200, with soulful R&B tracks like “Nobody Love,” and “Should’ve Been Us,” performing high on the charts. Before pressing play, take a look at these 8 facts about the star.
8. Kelly grew up listening to gospel music, and finds inspiration from musicians like Jill Scott and Crystal Lewis. She says the emotion and passion that defines Christian music is something she tries to emulate in her own music.
7. She auditioned for Season 9 of “American Idol,” but was cut before making it to the Top 24 live shows. In an interview with Hunger TV, she said the experience made her “more determined to try things on [her] own.” She started posting videos on YouTube and was soon discovered by talent manager Scooter Braun, who introduced her to Capitol Records.
6. Kelly performed at the BET Awards last June along with Robin Thicke and Ne-Yo. The singer paid tribute to the Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Smokey Robinson, by performing his classic “Who’s Lovin’ You.” Snoop Dogg even posted a video of her performance commenting, “Who is that girl? She sounds amazing!”
5. Tori has multiple ethnicities. Her father is both Puerto Rican and Jamaican while her mother is of Irish and German decent. Because of her diverse range and deep runs, she is able to fit into pop, R&B and soul genres.
4. Her personal logo is a feather quill that she uses to inspire her daily. The feather is based off one of her favorite Bible verses, Psalm 91:4, that she includes in her Twitter bio. In an interview with iHeartRadio, she says the logo represents both her song-writing and her faith.
3. Kelly has worked with a lot of up-and-coming stars including Ed Sheeran and Pentatonix. At the music festival South by Southwest, she made artist Sam Smith cry over her performance of “Paper Hearts.” She describes the song as the saddest off of her 2013 EP “Foreword.”
2. She found the inspiration for her title track “Unbreakable Smile,” from criticism she received from the industry. After her music team sat her down and told her that others described her as “too boring,” she pushed through a writer’s block and found that the lyrics came easy. Boy, were they wrong!
1. Her favorite app is Snapchat. She admits to spending a lot of time on social media, even claiming an addiction to it. However, she also considers it an important part of her job as a promoter. You can follow her day-to-day life by adding her on Snapchat: koritelly.