'So You Think You Can Dance' Turns Singer, UArts Alumna Christina Perri into Overnight Sensation

Her ballad 'Jar of Hearts' explodes on the music charts after airing on the Fox TV reality show


October 6, 2010

Fox reality show "So You Think You Can Dance," renowned for popularizing artists like Katy Perry, OneRepublic and Lady Gaga, has another music success story with singer Christina Perri, a University of the Arts Communication alumna.

After her ballad "Jar of Hearts" was featured on the June 30 show as a backdrop to a memorable piece choreographed by Stacey Tookey, the song started climbing the Billboard and iTunes charts overnight, catapulting the 23-year-old into sudden stardom.

SYTYCD's producers were so impressed with viewer reaction, they invited Perri back to play the song live on the show two weeks later. Her stripped-down piano performance pushed "Jar of Hearts" even further up the charts, landing at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at No. 1 on Amazon's digital singles chart. The break-up song also sold an astounding 200,000 downloads in just three weeks.

Suddenly a hot property, Perri signed a record deal with Atlantic Records and is currently in the studio finishing up her debut album, with an eye toward a late fall release. She is also on the road for a handful of shows with Jason Mraz, one of her all-time favorite artists.

"While all of this was happening, I barely slept," the Philadelphia-area native says, "because I was afraid it was just a dream; that I'd wake up and none of it would be real. One minute I didn't exist in the music world and the next minute I did. It has been so unbelievable."

The daughter of hairdressers and sister of ex-Shinedown/Silvertide guitarist Nick Perri, she first sang in public at her Holy Communion at age 6. Piano lessons began at age 8, followed by musical theater from age 11. She taught herself to play the guitar by watching VHS tapes of Blind Melon.

Perri attended the University of the Arts on a scholarship in 2006, but took a leave of absence a year later to do some soul searching. She spent that summer in Italy with her father's extended family, then packed up her guitar and headed to Los Angeles, where she was until just recently another struggling L.A. artist waiting tables at the Melrose Place Café.

But all that has changed now.

"It doesn't really feel real yet. It's been a whirlwind," the still-shocked songstress told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "But it is real, and 'So You Think You Can Dance' has just changed my whole life."

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