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Who Is Lindsey Stirling? Inside the Hip-Hop Violinist's Wild Ride Since America’s Got Talent
Lindsey Stirling, a Billboard chart-topping performer, shows no signs of stopping since reaching America's Got Talent's Season 5 quarterfinals.
The dancing violinist Lindsey Stirling, who is known for incorporating multiple music genres into her sets, continues to take the world by storm. Here's what to know about one of the most famous Acts to perform on America's Got Talent.
Who Is Lindsey Stirling?
Lindsey Stirling, 36, became well-known after reaching the quarterfinals in Season 5 of America’s Got Talent in 2010. However, she’d already amassed popularity on her YouTube channel, which continues to hold more than 13 million subscribers strong.
The California-born performer has garnered nearly 4 billion views by fusing classical, electronic, rock, hip-hop, and dubstep on the electric violin, accompanied by beautiful, eye-catching music videos and dancing.
Lindsey Stirling's History on AGT
Stirling became known as the “Hip Hop Violinist” by bringing an emo and grunge style when performing the popular song “Right Round” by Flo Rida featuring Ke$ha during her AGT audition. The spiccato-laden performance — accompanied by backbends and mismatching stockings — earned all three yesses from Judge Howie Mandel and former Judges Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan.
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“What I like about Lindsey is she combines a traditional instrument with a very modern-flavored routine,” said Morgan. “And that’s exciting!”
She might not have won the AGT competition, but she would return as a guest on many occasions, including when she duetted “Shatter Me” with Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale while floating above the stage in 2014. More recently, in 2021, Stirling accompanied AGT Season 13 winner, magician Shin Lim, with what’s widely considered her bestselling original song, “Crystallize.”
Lim even used Stirling and her violin as part of his bow-burning act.
What Did Lindsey Stirling Do After AGT?
Stirling’s popularity only grew after AGT, especially after the 2011 release of “Spontaneous Me,” incidentally leading to a mountain of collabs with some big-time names, including Evanescence’s Amy Lee, The Piano Guys, and John Legend.
“Crystallize,” the 2012 dubstep hit from Stirling’s self-titled album — which spent 21 weeks at number one on Billboard’s Classical Albums chart — was certified gold two years after its release. It would be the first of six songs to top the Billboard charts.
Her second studio album, 2014’s Shatter Me, beat Stirling’s first, dominating the same category for 46 weeks and reaching the top spot on Billboard’s best independent albums, dance/electronic albums, and number two on the Billboard 200.
It also featured songs written and sung by Dia Frampton, the runner-up from the first season of NBC’s The Voice and lead singer of Meg & Dia.
Stirling’s fame grew with hundreds of thousands of album sales, taking her around the world and making media appearances everywhere she went. She was named Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in 2015, winning a YouTube music award (her second) and a Billboard Music Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album that same year.
In 2016, her memoir, The Only Pirate at the Party, became a New York Times bestseller.
When not performing and writing books, Stirling continues to make headway in the world of stringed instruments. In 2021, she announced a partnership with Yamaha (yes, that Yamaha: one of the leading brands for silent violins and other instruments common in electric music) to deliver the limited edition “crystallize” violin.
Knowing the importance of having a good-quality violin, Stirling recalled having her first full-sized instrument in the sixth grade.
“I was more motivated, and I felt like I had been given my first wand; I was now a violin wizard,” said Stirling. “That violin took me on many adventures all the way through college.”
Since 2022, Stirling has made multiple appearances on NBC’s The Kelly Clarkson Show and created her sixth studio album, Snow Waltz, featuring Christmas classics and her own original compositions. She has taken the album on tour throughout the United States and the U.K.
Currently, she is on tour with upcoming stops in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, and elsewhere, according to her website. Stirling is also slated to tour the States with the Canadian indie-pop band Walk off the Earth.
She keeps her fans apprised through her musically colorful Instagram page.
Tune in to the America’s Got Talent Season 18 premiere Tuesday, May 30, at 8/7c on NBC and the next day on Peacock.