Victoria Loren “Tori” Kelly is an American singer and songwriter who slowly gained recognition after starting to post videos on YouTube at the age of 14. When she was 16, Kelly auditioned for the singing competition television series American Idol and she has since been on the lips of her fans.
Over the past year and a half, Tori Kelly has sold out shows in several major cities including The Troubadour and The Roxy in Los Angeles and Billboard has recognized her efforts and hard work hence she has been announced as the “Breakthrough” artist at the brand’s Women in Music ceremony.
Kelly will be on hand to perform and accept her honor, recognizing an artist who’s solidified her voice in the past year with character-defining work, at the VIP event set for December 11 in New York City.
Lifetime will air Women in Music on December 18, bringing the iconic event to a mass audience for the first time. The program is held in conjunction with the publication of Billboard’s Women in Music list, which selects the year’s 50 most powerful female executives in the industry.
“Tori Kelly has had a very hot 2015 with a strong debut album solidifying her place in pop,” said Janice Min, co-president and chief creative officer of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, which consists of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. “From YouTube videos to live performances, she’s gone from virtual unknown to the top of the A list in the blink of an eye, the true definition of a ‘breakthrough’.”
In 2012, Tori Kelly made her Billboard chart debut with her self-released album Handmade Songs By Tori Kelly. It peaked in the top 10 of the Heatseekers Albums chart, and was followed by her debut EP release for Capitol Records: Forward. That set debuted in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 and foreshadowed her breakthrough in 2015 with her full-length set Unbreakable Smile, which bowed at No. 2 on the chart. It launched the top 20 Pop Songs hits “Nobody Love” and “Should’ve Been Us.” Combined, her songs and albums have sold nearly 1.5 million in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music; while her songs and videos have accrued 163 million on-demand streams.
At the Women in Music event, women from across the music industry will be honored for their contributions including Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Brittany Howard, Fifth Harmony, Kelsea Ballerini, Lana Del Rey, Missy Elliott, Loretta Lynn and Woman of the Year Lady Gaga.