Christina Grimmie, a beloved singer/songwriter who got her start with Youtube, and went on to place in the sixth season of The Voice, passed away this morning after taking gunshot wounds after a show. She’d been on tour with pop-rock artist Before You Exit, and they’d just finished performing in Orlando, Florida.
While signing autographs for her fans, Christina was approached by a lone gunman and shot multiple times. Mark, her brother, immediately took down the assailant before others could be harmed. In the midst of the struggle, the gunman managed to take his own life.
Christina was pronounced dead a couple hours later.
To Christina’s family and friends: I am sorry. From my gut to my heart, I am sorry.
If you are not familiar with the name, Christina Grimmie had humble beginnings as a fledgling Youtube cover artist, beginning at the age of 15. Since then, she has released multiple EP’s: “Find Me” and “Side A,” as well as one full studio album: With Love. Breaching the mainstream, Christina tried out on singing show The Voice, where she placed in Season 6’s top three.
From the very beginning, Christina was public and proud of her Christian faith and walk. After her time on The Voice, she got the verse “All is Vanity” tattooed on her right arm, a tribute and reminder from Ecclesiastes. Always modest and never profane, she was an outstanding exception in her industry. Her favorite Christian songs were “In Christ Alone” which she covered a couple years back, and Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons.” She is quoted as being heavily inspired by contemporary Christian artist Stacie Orrico in the early years:
“She has a really awesome voice and I was so drawn to it. I think the reason I do have a soul voice is because I grew up listening to her and she was my huge, huge influence. I wanted to sound just like her, I wrote songs that kinda sounded like something she would do.”
In addition to Stacie, Christina notes Christina Aguilera as a primary vocal inspiration, as well as many other artists ranging anywhere from Twenty One Pilots to Metallica to Skrillex to Switchfoot. Earlier this year, she concluded a tour with well-known pop star, Rachel Platten.
Christina appealed to the same audience we strive for here at Geeks Under Grace. In addition to her faith, Christina was an avid and vocal geek of many forms. Big into both video games and anime, Christina loyally streamed Super Smash Bros. 4 and League of Legends up until earlier this year. In Smash she mained Ness, in League she mained Mid Lane. She had opportunities to play with or meet some of the best players from each. If you look around her Instagram, you’ll notice her room is decorated in paraphernalia from Death Note, Attack on Titan, Skyrim, Sonic, Legend of Zelda, Tokyo Ghoul, Fullmetal Alchemist, and much, much more. On one hand she had the signature “L” tattoo from Death Note, and on the opposing arm she had tattooed “2P” to match the “1P” shared by her older brother. Though I could not find the video in writing this article, I remember at one point she made a Triforce diagram, where the three components were “singing,” “video games,” and “food,” with “God” in the middle. She called it her “Triforce of Grimmie.”
Christina, cosplaying as Ahri from “League of Legends”
Please forgive me. At the risk of sounding unprofessional, I must admit, it is difficult for me to write this article pragmatically. I’ve followed Christina’s progress for over five years. This last April I fasted thirty days of food for the sake of Christina’s physical, spiritual, and emotional safety in the years to come. I do not share this to bring praise to myself, but for transparency.
I will deeply miss you, Christina.
Today is an unbearably sad day for many. If I’m not overstepping myself, I’d like to take a brief moment to reach out to a few people, even if only in prayer and written word.
To Papa and Mama Grimmie, whose hearts must weigh more than all the world itself, I am sorry. Thank you for loving your daughter. I know she loved you too, and will be waiting with open arms and a beaming face on the day you come home. I’m sure she is already hard at work composing the song she will be singing.
To Mark, from one big brother to another, please hear me out.
You did not fail, Mark.
The media is calling you a hero, but god only knows how sarcastic that must sound right now. We both know the truth. You were always her hero. You were always there, watching your little sister’s back. I am so hurt for you. I am so proud of you. I know she’d be proud of you, too. It might not be soon, but please someday, find the strength to forgive yourself. You owe it to Christina to not feel like you let her down.
To her friends and fans, please do not hate the man who took Christina’s life. I cannot emphasize this enough. Christina lived beautifully, smiled liberally, forgave openly. She would not want a single one of you to be burdened by the ugly, wormy creature that is hatred. It crawls into your heart, deep inside, and it poisons you. It’s easy to hate things that do not make sense. I don’t know her assailant. I don’t know if he was crippled by loneliness or anger or whatever drove him to do what he did, but it doesn’t matter. I promise, if Christina were still with us, she would not have wanted us to hold that man in contempt. To do so would be in direct violation of everything Christina believed in, everything she was and wanted to be.
Thank you Christina, for putting the music in our hearts. Thanks for the laughs and the inspiration. I’m sorry you will never have a chance to get married, or to be a mother like you wanted. You never deserved to be stuck down here with us.
I was hoping I might meet you sometime soon, but I guess I’ll have to wait a little longer. I look forward to the day I can hear your voice again. Maybe we’ll all have a chance to sing together in the eternity to come.
Until then, may you rest in ultimate, unending peace, free from the pain of this world.
Forever and always, #TeamGrimmie
Cooper D Barham
Aspiring author, marriage and family therapist, and active behavioral health technician, Cooper fills his world with God, music, videogames, anime/manga, drawing, reading, writing, and some physical stuff in between. If you ever want to talk about the big or little things of life, fire him a message. Helping others through tough times is both his passion and way of living. 'Got it memorized?'
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