Lindsey Stirling (born September 21, 1986) is an American violinist, dancer, Performance Artist and composer. She presents choreographed violin performances, both live and in music videos found on her eponymous YouTube channel.
In addition to her unique performance style that blends classically-trained violin with pop sensibilities and exuberant dance moves, Stirling is known for her explorations into Electronic Music, Hip-hop and Dubstep, her collaborations with numerous other artists, and her often spectacular videos. Aside from original work, her discography contains covers of songs by other musicians and various soundtracks. Her music video "Crystallize" finished as the eighth-most watched YouTube video of 2012 and was certified platinum, and her cover version of "Radioactive" with Pentatonix won Response of the Year in the first YouTube Music Awards in 2013. Stirling achieved one million singles sold worldwide by August 2014. As of March 2017, her YouTube channel had exceeded 9 million subscribers and over 1.7 billion total views.
She grew up in Gilbert, Arizona, and began taking violin lessons at age five. She has recounted how she wanted to learn both violin and dance but her parents' modest means permitted only one:
"...my parents said, 'You [can] choose violin or you [can] choose dance, but we can't afford both', and I chose violin. So this is kind of a fulfillment – it's funny to say, but this is something I've always wanted to do."
Consequently all her dance skills were self-taught and built around the needs of playing the violin at the same time, resulting in her distinctive steps and unique style. Since her success on the global stage, she has begun working with professional dancers and choreographers to expand and enhance her repertoire, but has been careful not to dilute her style.
She first came to public notice from her appearance on America's Got Talent in 2010. Despite reaching only the quarter-finals and receiving a critical drubbing at the hands of the judges (Piers Morgan said "[Y]ou're not good enough, I don't think, to get away with flying through the air and trying to play the violin at the same time" and Sharon Osbourne flatly stated "What you're doing is not enough to fill a theater in Vegas"), Stirling refused to change her style and shifted to promoting herself on the Internet. She teamed up with cinematographer Devin Graham, resulting in the string of videos which brought her to the attention of the world at large, staring with "Spontaneous Me" in 2011. By the end of 2012, her videos were racking up millions of views, her self-titled first album had been released, and she had begun a North American tour, which later was expanded into a world tour. By 2017 she'd embarked on three world tours as well as several smaller North American tours, released two more albums and an autobiography (The Only Pirate at the Party) and collaborated with numerous artists, including a song for the closing credits of Disney's live-action version of Pete's Dragon. In 2018, she collaborated with Amy Lee and Evanescence and embarked on a joint tour with them.
Her website can be found here.
As of early 2017:
- Lindsey Stirling (2012, remastered and rereleased 2013)
- Shatter Me (2014)
- Brave Enough (2016)
- "Hallelujah" (2015)
- "By No Means" (with Eppic) (2011)
- "Party Rock Anthem" LMFAO cover (with Jake Bruene and Frank Sacramone) (2011)
- "Starships", Nicki Minaj cover (with Megan Nicole) (2012)
- "Grenade", Bruno Mars cover (with Alex Boye and the Salt Lake Pops) (2012)
- "1 Original, ONE Cover" – "Some Kind of Beautiful" and "Thrift Shop" (with Tyler Ward) (2013)
- "Living Room Sessions" – "Daylight" and "I Knew You Were Trouble" (with Tyler Ward and Chester See) (2013)
- "Mission Impossible" (with The Piano Guys) (2013)
- "Radioactive", Imagine Dragons cover (with Pentatonix) (2013)
- "Star Wars Medley" (with Peter Hollens) (2013)
- "All of Me" (with John Legend) (2013)
- "Papaoutai" (with Pentatonix) (2014)
- "Beautiful Times" (with Owl City) (2014)
- "Loud" (with Jessie J) (2014)
- "Sounds Like Heaven" (with Marina Kaye) (2015)
- "Pure Imagination" (with Josh Groban and The Muppets) (2015)
- "Les Misérables Medley", covers (2015)
- "Hallelujah" (with Joy Enriquez) (2015)
- "Dying for You" (with Otto Knows and Alex Aris) (2016)
- "The Show Must Go On" (with Celine Dion) (2016)
- Action Girl: Almost every video for music from a game, TV show or movie will cast her in an action girl role.
- Adorkable: Just look at her picture on the cover of her first album. And all the gaming music videos she's done.
- Artifact Title: The name of her YouTube channel, LindseyStomp, refers to the long-defunct high school band she was part of, "Stomp on Melvin".
- Christmas Songs: Has released a number of videos for traditional Christmas carols.
- Cosplay: Her videos for music from video games and movies? She makes her own costumes for them.
- Costume Porn: Most any video of hers, but especially those for games, movies and TV series themes.
- Dance Battler: Shows up in the videos for both "Roundtable Rival" and "The Arena".
- Garage Band: Was a member of a rock band called "Stomp on Melvin" in high school.
- Ice Palace: The setting for the "Crystallize" video is an ice castle built at Silverthorne, Colorado in the winter of 2011-2012.
- It Will Never Catch On: The professional opinion of the judges on America's Got Talent in regards to her dance and music.
- "Mission Impossible" Cable Drop: During the video for her performance of the Mission Impossible theme with The Piano Guys, Stirling is dropped by a cable to change the sheet music being played by a pianist.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Classically-trained electronic hip-hop dubstep dancing violinist.
- One of Us: To date she's done musical arrangements and videos for music from the Game of Thrones, Assassin's Creed, The Legend of Zelda, Skyrim, and The Lord Of The Rings soundtracks, among many others.
- Pirate/Pirate Girl: Something akin to a spiritual totem for her. She had to wear an eyepatch to treat cross-dominance starting in the second grade, and coped with it by pretending she was a pirate. The independence and Determinator qualities she attributed to pirates became touchstones for how she wanted to live her life:
"Pirates don't take orders or ask permission,... They do what they want. Allow me to clarify. If your mom asks you to do the dishes, do not pull out your pirate attitude. But if someone tells you you’re not good enough, says your dreams are too lofty, or claims there is no room in showbiz for a dancing violinist — well then, by all means, pull out your eye patch, my friend, and take to the high seas."
- She dressed as a Pirate Girl for the live video of "Master of Tides".
- Please Subscribe to Our Channel: She usually has a Stinger on her videos where she addresses the viewers and among other things asks them to subscribe to her channel.
- Pre-Explosion Glow: The video for "Shatter Me" (featuring Lzzy Hale of Halestorm) shows Lindsey's skin cracking and emitting light before she explodes into pieces.
- Product Placement: Starting with 2014's "Master of Tides" (with its focus on the UE Boom wireless speaker) Stirling has occasionally done videos which while entertaining also showcase a product from a corporate sponsor. As of this writing, the most recent has been "Hold My Heart (acoustic)", which has multiple shots of her and her band using a hand-held photosticker device from HP. (Its description text on YouTube is simply "Thanks HP for helping me capture my favorite memories in Europe!" plus a URL at hp.com.)
- The Runner Up Takes It All: Was kicked off the fifth season of America's Got Talent in an early round, but is far more successful and recognized than the winner, Michael Grimm.
- Scatting: Most of her vocal backing on those pieces which aren't explicitly sung by other artists.
- Script Swap: During the video for her performance of the Mission Impossible theme with The Piano Guys, Stirling does a "Mission Impossible" Cable Drop to change the sheet music being played by a pianist.
- Self-Titled Album: Her first, 2012's Lindsey Stirling.
- Steampunk: Some of the dancers in "Master of Tides" are wearing steampunk-themed costume pieces.
- Virtual Paper Doll: Is used as one by an unidentified man in the first video for "Transcendance". He projects images of different fashions onto Stirling, who is in a plain white outfit to better display them.
- When All You Have Is a Violin: ...you use it for everything -- fighting zombies, battling the Dragonborn, changing light bulbs...
- The Wild West: Setting for the video of "Roundtable Rival".
- Word Salad Title: "Electric Daisy Violin".
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Stirling has explicitly stated that this is the theme of almost all of her music; she has pointed out "Shatter Me" in particular as an example. As a recovering anorexic, she seeks to inspire people to find their own inner beauty.
This page needs more trope entries. You can help this wiki by adding more entries or expanding current ones.