8 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s not unheard of for Christian and gospel singers to make the leap to pop music, but it’s a bit more rare for an artist to pivot in the opposite direction. Tori Kelly’s debut, Unbreakable Smile, was a star-studded affair aimed straight at the charts, executive-produced by Max Martin and featuring a collab with Ed Sheeran. Her second album, Hiding Place, is full-on gospel, but (good news!) Kelly’s pop ambitions remain fully intact. The orchestral-soul flourishes of opener “Masterpiece (feat. Lecrae)” and the funky R&B lilt of “Sunday” seem to proclaim that these are not your grandmother’s Sunday-go-to-meeting church songs. Even when traditional hymns are her source material, as in the devotional “Psalm 42” and the a cappella “Soul’s Anthem (It Is Well),” she transforms them into rousing, rhythmic choruses.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s not unheard of for Christian and gospel singers to make the leap to pop music, but it’s a bit more rare for an artist to pivot in the opposite direction. Tori Kelly’s debut, Unbreakable Smile, was a star-studded affair aimed straight at the charts, executive-produced by Max Martin and featuring a collab with Ed Sheeran. Her second album, Hiding Place, is full-on gospel, but (good news!) Kelly’s pop ambitions remain fully intact. The orchestral-soul flourishes of opener “Masterpiece (feat. Lecrae)” and the funky R&B lilt of “Sunday” seem to proclaim that these are not your grandmother’s Sunday-go-to-meeting church songs. Even when traditional hymns are her source material, as in the devotional “Psalm 42” and the a cappella “Soul’s Anthem (It Is Well),” she transforms them into rousing, rhythmic choruses.

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
350 Ratings
350 Ratings
Littlest Nerd

I already know

It’s gonna be great!!

isaura sarai:)

Finally!!!

Yassss Tori!!

mmusic01242

Amazing

Amazing as always. Can’t wait for September 14!

About Tori Kelly

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Tori Kelly was a would-be child star who grew into a woman and learned how to follow her own muse, bringing her music to her fans through the Internet. Victoria Loren Kelly was born in Wildomar, California on December 14, 1992, into a musical household -- her father sang and played bass, her mother was proficient on keyboards and saxophone -- and Kelly grew up listening to gospel and was influenced by pop and R&B acts such as Jeff Buckley, Lauryn Hill, and Jill Scott. Kelly developed ambitions to be a professional musician at an early age, and when she was ten, she appeared on the TV talent competition Star Search. In 2004, she was a contestant on America's Most Talented Kids, winning in her first appearance and moving on to the championship tournament. Her appearance on America's Most Talented Kids led to a deal with Geffen Records, but she and the label parted ways before she could release any material.

After auditioning for American Idol but failing to make the final 24, Kelly embraced a new approach; she had been learning to play guitar, and she started working on original songs and recording them on her personal computer. She began posting videos of her performances on YouTube, and through word of mouth she developed a significant following; in time, her page had close to 700,000 subscribers and her cover of Frank Ocean's "Thinkin' 'Bout You" was viewed 17 million times. Kelly proved there were paying customers in her new fan base when she digitally released an album, Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly, which she recorded herself and featured her playing most of the instruments; the album sold well enough to hit number nine on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and number six on Soundscan's New Artist tally. Kelly followed the success of Handmade Songs with a series of live dates, headlining clubs and theaters and opening at larger venues for Jewel and Ed Sheeran. Scooter Braun, who helped guide Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen to stardom, became Kelly's manager, and she scored a contract with Capitol Records, which released her EP Foreword in the fall of 2013.

In 2015, Kelly released her debut full-length album, Unbreakable Smile, which featured production from Max Martin (Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, Ellie Goulding) and included the singles "Nobody Love" and "Should've Been Us." An immediate success, Unbreakable Smile reached number two on Billboard's Top 200, netting Kelly a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. The following year, she made her film debut voicing a character in the movie Sing. In the summer of 2016, Kelly released the YouTube single "Blink of an Eye" in tribute to her slain friend Christina Grimmie. She then paired with Anthony Hamilton's the Hamiltones for the gospel-tinged, Kirk Franklin-produced single "Help Us to Love" in 2018. ~ Mark Deming

HOMETOWN
Wildomar, CA
GENRE
Pop
BORN
December 14, 1992

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