Local violinist Lindsey Stirling was among the winners at Sunday’s inaugural YouTube Music Awards, a live-streamed event that featured live performances by Lady Gaga, Eminem, Arcade Fire and more.
Stirling picked up Response of the Year, an award that recognizes the best fan remixes, covers or parodies, based on views and viewers’ likes, shares and comments, for her cover of Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.”
Stirling grew up in Gilbert and graduated from Mesquite High School, enjoying her first taste of national exposure in 2010 when the dancing violinist made the quarter-finals on “America’s Got Talent.” Piers Morgan took the shine off that experience, though, when he sniffed, “You’re not untalented, but you’re not good enough to get away with flying through the air and trying to play the violin at the same time.”
YouTube views had a different take on Stirling’s talents, making “Crystallize” the eighth most-watched YouTube video of 2012, with 42.9 million views.
Earlier this year, the star told the Republic: “I tried a lot of different things to get my music out there. I drove to Vegas and gave out DVDs of me performing to talent agencies. I sent in resumes to different variety shows. I sent video links to all the TV shows. I sent my music to other artists, hoping to collaborate. I just worked so hard and hit so many dead ends. Then, I met a filmmaker named Devin Graham and he did my first YouTube video. I didn’t know anything about YouTube but he offered to make me a free music video. And I thought, 'Gosh, of course.’ ”
USA Today caught up with Stirling backstage Sunday.
“I’m an artist that was fully born through YouTube,” she said. “That was the only platform that gave me the chance to make art that I loved. ... It was the only place that accepted what I did.”