Taken Too Soon: A Glance into the Career of Christina Grimmie

Taken Too Soon: A Glance into the Career of Christina Grimmie

Maya Radcliffe (12th), Reporter

“There are no words. We lost a beautiful soul with an amazing voice. Our hearts go out to the friends, fans, and family of @TheRealGrimmie.”

NBC’s “The Voice” posted this tweet on June 10, 2016 upon hearing of the death of former contestant Christina Grimmie. Grimmie was shot in the head by twenty-seven year old Kevin James Loibl during autograph signing after her performance with Before You Exit at The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida.

She was twenty-two years old.

Christina Grimmie began her singing career in 2009, posting covers of popular hits on YouTube under her username zeldaxlove64. Although she could also play the guitar and the drums, she often stuck to playing the piano in her videos. Her channel currently has over three million subscribers.

Selena Gomez’s mother, Teefey, discovered Grimmie through her YouTube channel, and she and her husband, Brian, later became her managers.

After supplying background vocals and touring with Selena Gomez and the Scene, and performing in the first DigiTour created for YouTube artists, Grimmie released her first EP (extended play) Find Me on June 14, 2011 and her first debut single “Advice” to Radio Disney.

In January 2012, she moved to Los Angeles in order to pursue her career, and was signed to the Creative Artists Agency in April. The next year, she released her first album With Love.

But it was not until the sixth season of NBC’s hit show, The Voice that Grimmie’s career was launched.

Auditioning with Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” she received a four-chair turn, and chose lead singer of Maroon 5, Adam Levine, to be her coach. Thanks to her powerful voice and YouTube fan base, Grimmie ended up placing third overall.

After the show, she signed with Island Records, but she never produced an album before she was dropped. She later independently released the singles “Must Be Love,” “Cliche,” “Stay With Me,” and “Shrug,” and ended up winning the iHeartRadio/Macy’s Rising Star Contest.

Her final EP Side A was released on February 21, 2016, and was accompanied by a four part mini-series of videos of “The Ballad of Jessica Blue” for the songs.

The film “Matchbreaker,” which she filmed in 2015, is set to be released in October of 2016.

Christina claimed her main vocal influence was Christina Aguilera, but she admired DJ and dubstep inspired music as well, along with rock and roll and heavy metal, including Metallica and Iron Maiden.

She grew up listening to Christian artist Stacie Orrico, who became a major source of inspiration for the style of music Grimmie wanted to create.

“She has a really awesome voice and I was so drawn to it. I think the reason I do have a soul voice is because I grew up listening to her and she was my huge, huge influence. I wanted to sound just like her, I wrote songs that kinda sounded like something she would do” (Angermiller, Michele).

In her personal life, Christina Grimmie saw her mother battle and beat breast cancer three times. Her mother’s courage became the source of her own, and an uncertain future led to a gratefulness of the present.

“I’ve seen her be strong and it pushes me to be strong as well. She is okay right now but you never know what could happen even overnight, so I thank the Lord for every day” (Krantz, Matt).

But above all, Grimmie held that her belief in Jesus Christ was the key to her strength.

“I’m not perfect, but I believe my faith in Jesus Christ will really take me far in the world!” (AZ Quotes).

Christina Grimmie was, and still is, a source of inspiration for her millions of fans, not only through her music but through her “realness” and connectability. She was a self identified nerd who loved video games, especially, as you may have guessed by her YouTube username, those of the Zelda franchise. Most of her videos were filmed in her room, in which a Sonic the Hedgehog poster was boldly adorned in the background.

Her hope was to create music that made people happy, and to encourage everyone to be who they were without shame, by refusing to let others dictate how they felt. Her main message, which will never die, was this:

“You just got to love yourself, and love who you are, and know that what you’re doing is fine,” (LivLuvCreate).



Angermiller, Michele. “Remembering Christina Grimmie: A Look at the Late ‘Voice’ Alum’s Life and Career.” Billboard.com. N.p., 11 June 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.


“Celebs React to ‘Voice’ Singer Christina Grimmie’s Death.” NBC New York. N.p., 13 June 2016. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.