They say failure can be a great motivator for a talented, young performer. In Lindsey Stirling’s case, her dream of early career success ended in the semi-finals of America’s Got Talent in 2010 when Piers Morgan – his own success seemingly fleeting after his CNN talk show was cancelled in March of 2014 – hit his buzzer to end her run at stardom. In typical Piers Morgan fashion, he said of her violin playing that “there were times when it was okay, and there were times when it sounded like a rat getting strangled.” For those who haven’t heard of Lindsey Stirling, she is a violinist that dances around like a real-life tinkerbell while playing violin nearly flawlessly. Many wondered if there was even a market for this type of music – violinists typically play while sitting and are usually the recipients of reserved applause in concert halls, not rock concerts.
Lindsey herself admitted that AGT was not her best performance – she nearly quit – but that disappointing performance did open some doors that were closed previously, and she worked hard to make her unique dance/violin musical show more commercially viable. Success wasn’t easy – she had a battle with anorexia that she overcame after some introspection. One of her most popular tracks is “Shatter Me” – a song of great personal significance to Lindsey. The music video shows an outwardly “perfect and seemingly flawless” ballerina that is battling inner demons and is a musical tale of her own journey to defeat the eating disorder that she has said is “a mental disorder…consumed with control and perfection”. During each show she encourages people to realize the power of staying positive and shares her struggles with others so that they can learn from her illness.
Just six years after her loss in the quarterfinals on AGT, she has over 8.2M YouTube followers, an album that debuted at #1 on iTunes and #2 in the Billboard Top 200, and a much anticipated follow-up album whose debut single, “Arena”, has garnered nearly 7 million viewers in just one month due to its infectious melody and racy tango-like dance moves. Lindsey is selling out shows across the US right now and It is safe to say that her fame is no longer fleeting and that her hard work has paid off. In fact, even Piers Morgan has gotten on board!
Author’s note: I recently saw Lindsey Stirling in concert and it was an unforgettable night full of gorgeous lighting, great choreography, superb violin play, and theatrical panache. A must-see, one-of-a-kind experience if you are lucky enough for her tour to come to your city!
Sources: ABC News, ET Online, LindseyStirling.com