First she got cut from a record label. Then she got cut from American Idol.
Tori Kelly was told she wasn’t pretty enough, wasn’t bubbly enough, wasn’t talented enough.
“This wasn’t just one door closing. This was ANOTHER door closing out of all these doors that have closed in my face,” Tori says on an “I am Second” video. “I was so devastated. I was this singer who if I failed, then people would be disappointed.”
Wut? Tori Kelly cut?
Today, Victoria Loren Kelly, 27, is one of the most heralded singers in pop music. The Capital Records-signed Christian gospel musician has won two Grammys after songs on her two albums “Unbreakable Smile” and “Hiding Place” charted Billboard’s Hot 100.
The painful rejections in her attempt to follow her dreams have led her to some insights valuable to young girls who think they don’t measure up.
“It might take a while but one day your going to grow into your own skin and be the woman that God uniquely made as you,” the star says. “You’re being built into the woman that God wants you to be. And you don’t have to compare yourself to anybody.”
Born in Wildomar, California, Tori had a dad of Jamaican and Puerto Rican ancestry and a mom descended from German and Irish blood. Her parents loved music, exposed her to every genre and encouraged her early interest.
At age 12, she signed with Geffen Records, but that deal fizzled. She taught herself the guitar and began composing songs, which she uploaded to YouTube, getting one million subscribers. She competed in American Idol’s ninth season but fell out before the final 24.
“That’s when I went back into my room and I started to journal a lot,” she confides. “I wrote about confusion, feeling different. I was getting out these emotions that I’ve never been really good at explaining. It was just kind of this messy book of all my thoughts and prayers. (I wrote down:) ‘Lord, guide me. I don’t know who I am without singing.’”
The downtime — the time alone crying with God — was unpleasant. But ultimately, they were good for her. Read the rest: Tori Kelly failed.