Christina Grimmie, who was shot at point-blank range by an apparent stranger following a concert in Orlando Friday evening, had deep roots in the pop scene that went beyond her popularity from her time competing on "The Voice."
Her original claim to fame was as a self-made YouTube star. Her channel was filled with impressive covers and Christian messages, endearing her to fans who found her work to be refreshingly wholesome.
christina grimmie and selena gomez pic.twitter.com/gGamIIl4Bv— Frand (@GrimmianForevor) November 29, 2013
Grimmie's following on social media led to her discovery by Selena Gomez's stepfather Brian Teefey, who signed her to a management contract. Grimmie told Seventeen magazine, "I was 16 and in school at the time. Brian contacted my brother [on YouTube]... So then my brother texted me in the middle of school, like, 'I really think Selena Gomez’s stepdad is trying to get a hold of you.' I didn’t believe it; I had heard too many stories. But it ended up being true, and he came over our house... I’m so blessed that they're in my life. They're literally like a family — Selena has been so encouraging ever since we got hooked up. It's crazy! It's very much a fairy tale."
That deal acquainted Grimmie not only with Selena Gomez — for whom she opened on tour — but also with Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato and many other young Disney Channel veterans working to break into the music scene.
It wasn't until Grimmie became a contestant on the voice, on Team Adam, that her career really began to take off, with some show-stealing performances. Selena publicly encouraged and congratulated her friend every step of the way.
The final video Grimmie posted on Twitter encouraged fans to come out to her concert Friday night, which turned out to be her final performance:
ORLANDO!! Come out to the show tonight at the Plaza Live! Starts at 7:30!😎 pic.twitter.com/0D4mNupCTi— Christina Grimmie (@TheRealGrimmie) June 10, 2016
Her official Twitter account's last post sums up the shocking finality of her death:
The end.— Christina Grimmie (@TheRealGrimmie) June 11, 2016
Now, many of the performers who came into contact with Grimmie are singing her praises in light of her out-of-nowhere murder in Orlando:
#RIPChristina 😰😢 my thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones..— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) June 11, 2016
I'm stunned and disgusted and heartbroken that we lost that sweet little girl... Keeping @TheRealGrimmie family in my heart and mind.— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) June 11, 2016
Dang. RIP @TheRealGrimmie thoughts and prayers out to your family 😔— Chase Martin (@ChaseMartin222) June 11, 2016