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Christina Grimmie by Yoni Goldberg



March 12, 2017 — After nearly five years of interviews, Zack Tremblay reflects on his friendship with Christina Grimmie, honoring her with a touching tribute.

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Christina Grimmie - TREMBLAY

The world, myself included, fell in love with Christina Grimmie by watching her videos on YouTube. There was something so pure and original about the content Christina produced. Her vocals truly captivated anyone that was listening and it was a sign that this is what she was born to do. I am sure that I can speak on behalf of everyone that knew Christina and express how special she was. She had a strong presence that was very warm and welcoming. I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to know this beautiful angel. Back in early November of 2011 I had the chance to interview Christina on the phone for the very first time. This interview was a week prior to her winning an American Music Award, which was a huge milestone in her career. One of my favorite memories from that interview was playing a game called first thing to mind; which consisted me naming a subject, person or place while she responded with the first thing that came to her mind. We covered everything from her pal Selena Gomez to social media. “Alright the last one is, Zack Tremblay”. I wasn't sure what she would say or how she would react but her response sparked a overwhelming sense of motivation. She replied, "The most awesome interview dude in the world, and I quote." I was sixteen years old, at the beginning stages of my career and hearing those words meant more to me than anyone could ever imagine. Those words stuck with me, moving forward with every interview I did and every choice I decided to make professionally. Though her answer was simple those words meant a whole lot to me and helped me grow into the creator I am today. For as long as I can remember, Christina was always there. I am inspired by her in so many ways. Her work ethic, drive and commitment to stay true to herself was something I looked up to and still do to this day.

After years of supporting Christina, we met for the first time on March 12th, in Boston, Massachusetts. With custom-made cupcakes in hand, I greeted Christina with a huge smile. Our birthday's are a little over a week apart but we celebrated that day. "It's good to put a face to the voice after all these years", Christina said. In that moment, standing there about to record our very first interview in person together, I paused. All of the memories came flowing in. It was a perfect full circle moment that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. Just as I hit record the worst possible thing happened, my camera stopped working. Christina tried to help in any way that she could, even offered to go grab her camera on the tour bus. This goes to show what type of person she was. Her willingness to put forth the effort and help with something that was out of our control was something I will never forget. After a few tries and a couple of setting changes, we got it up and running. Up to this point Christina has taken part in every project I have released, except this one. I did not want to continue this magazine without honoring Christina in the best way possible. I want this issue to be a celebration of Christina's life. As you look back at her beautiful life and accomplishments, I want you to realize that Christina's legacy will carry on for years to come.


Tina, Bud and Marcus, this tribute is for you. Your family has suffered an unbearable loss but God has gained an angel. Christina's legacy will be carried on through her music and I will be standing here by your side every step of the way.

Christina Victoria Grimmie was born March 12, 1994, in Marlton, New Jersey. Christina was an incredible daughter, sister, friend, artist and inspiration to many.


There is no doubt that YouTube was the single most important aspect of Christina's success. That platform gave Christina a chance to showcase her voice, show her originality, and experiment as an artist. Christina uploaded her first video on July 17, 2009. The video was a cover of Hannah Montana's track "Don't Want To Be Torn" which over time gained over a million views. Since then Christina has covered many of our favorites but how did it all begin? It was actually Christina's best friend Lauren that encouraged the young singer to showcase her talent online. Christina began to build a fan base and quickly became a force online.


After two years of building her YouTube channel, a huge opportunity came up. On April 7, 2011, Christina released a video announcing that she would be joining Selena Gomez on the We Own The Night Tour. The tour kicked off on July 24th in Costa Mesa, California and ended on December 18th in Seattle, WA. This was truly the start of a beautiful friendship between Grimmie and Gomez. The two have worked together on numerous projects including a partnership with Kinect for XBOX 360 and hit the road again in 2013 for the Stars Dance tour. Selena paid tribute to Christina on her Revival Tour last year in Miami, FL revealing, "One thing about Christina and her family is that she holds her faith so closely to her." Gomez went on to dedicate a song in her honor. This is a friendship that will always be remembered. Christina Grimmie th About a month prior to hitting the road with Selena Gomez, Christina released her debut EP 'Find Me'. The EP was released digitally on June 14, 2011, with limited physical copies being sold on the We Own The Night Tour. The album debuted at number thirty-five on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States. The album later went on to reach the top ten on the independent albums chart peaking at number six. The EP's lead single "Advice" was played heavily on Radio Disney reaching the third spot on their top thirty countdown. Later that year Grimmie was given the opportunity to perform "Liar Liar" on The Ellen Show followed by a rendition of "How To Love" with Tyler Ward.


This era in Christina's career was extremely crucial and brought her to new levels of the entertainment industry. Following her appearance on Ellen, it was announced that Christina won a fan-voted competition with Coke that was promoted earlier that fall. Grimmie had the opportunity to walk the red carpet of the American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. She performed a version of "Higher" with Taio Cruz during the pre-show and even took home an award that night for Best Female in New Media. Christina was unstoppable at this point. Christina released her first full-length album 'With Love' onAugust 6, 2013. The album's lead single, “Tell My Mama” was sent for exclusive airplay on Radio Disney. A music video directed by David Turvey was released on Grimmie's YouTube channel. The album also featured her follow up single "Feeling Good” + fan favorites including the title track “With Love" and "I Bet You Don't Curse God”. Honestly, I don't think any of us saw what was coming next.


On February 13, 2014, Christina changed her profile picture on Facebook announcing that she had auditioned for The Voice. Grimmie's blind audition aired on February 24, 2014, and received an overwhelming response of positive reviews. Christina revealed, “Coming from someone that was so comfortable in her room all the time, it means the world". Grimmie thought the idea of The Voice was completely genius. “Getting four incredible artists to tell you what you need to work on or what you are good at, that's everything!” The following 90 seconds changed Christina's life completely. She impressed Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher and Blake Shelton with her performance of “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus. The performance resulted in a four chair turn and a spot on Team Adam for the duration of the season.


From the moment Christina's audition aired on NBC, she was a frontrunner. Week after week, Christina showcased her artistry proving that she was right where she belonged. Grimmie soared through the battle rounds with “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “Counting Stars”. She landed a spot in the playoffs where she performed a song we are all familiar with from her YouTube channel, “I Won't Give Up". When it came time for the live shows, Christina showed an impressive amount of comfort when she performed. One of Christina's biggest moments on the show was when she performed Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home". The track entered the top ten on iTunes and was commended by all four coaches. Adam shared that the deci sion to take this song and do it her way was completely her decision. Moments like this really prove how much of an artist Christina was. Christina kept fighting in the coming weeks when she graced us with another familiar YouTube cover, “How To Love”. The performance even got recognition from Lil Wayne, “Much much luv for Christina Grimmie!!!!". The rapper even admitted via-twitter that he would sign the young artist if she wasn't on the show.


Christina found herself in the bottom during the semifinals but don't think that stopped her. Usher reveals, “Though there have been times when you've been at the bottom, you've always fought to stay on top.” The drive and motivation Christina had, was another reason she gained new levels of success, she fought her way to the top. The finale of The Voice highlighted some of Christina's best moments on the show. We got to relive her original blind audition, “Wrecking Ball” + we got a taste of “Somebody That I Used to Know" with her coach Adam. Christina finished strong with a rendition of“Can't Help Falling In Love" placing third in the competition.

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I find when someone passes we struggle with mourning because of who they were to us in our short but rich time on this earth. As we bring this issue to a close I want you to remember all of the incredible things Christina was. She was kind, generous, genuine, talented and special on so many levels. Even though she is no longer physically with us, she still is so many things. She is an angel, she is a light, she is a remembrance of what it's like to follow a dream. Her story and journey will inspire many people for years to come. As we look back on Christina's short but amazing life, we can only remember how much she did for everyone around her. Christina's kindness and relationship with her fans is the reason why she made it as far as she did. The success of an artist all comes down to the relationship with their fans. The relationship Christina had with her fans is like no other. She had constant ties to them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Christina's random acts of kindness didn't stop with her fans, she had strong beliefs and passions for numerous different causes. From speaking out about anti-bullying to sharing her passion for animals with The Humane Society of The United States. Christina used her voice to make our world a better place. Just days before the horrific tragedy in Orlando, Christina was fighting for animal rights on social media and ended up winning $250,000 for the cause.


We live in a time where social media captures our day to day lives. It is a blessing for family, friends and loved ones that have the opportunity to look back at Christina's journey. From the constant connection with her fans to her weekly videos on YouTube. We have content that will remind us the true talent that Christina was. On February 13th, it was announced that Christina's music would be released under Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group. Just a few days following the exciting news, Christina's lead single "Invisible" was released on all digital streaming platforms. All proceeds from the single will benefit The Christina Grimmie Foundation. See the official statement from the Grimmie family below. "As an independent artist, Christina dreamed of a major record label distributing her music. That dream has COME TRUE for our dear angel... Universal Music Group, the world's largest music company, will be releasing Christina's new music under Republic Records."


Christina Grimmie has left an incredible legacy behind. Her voice, presence and determination will always be remembered. She has inspired many of us over the years and as we continue this journey, we will carry her with us each and every step of the way. As the final selections from the Christina Grimmie catalog are released, all we can do is smile and appreciate living in a time where she truly shined. There is a light at the end of dark tunnels. You may have suffered the most unbearable loss, but the big picture will always remind you that God's brightest stars are always watching over us. I love you with all of my heart, Christina. You will always be the strongest light of my life and I thank you for giving me some of the most memorable moments of my career.

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