Christina Perri is famous for songs including ‘A Thousand Years’ and ‘Jar Of Hearts’, but what did she do before she became famous?
Before finding fame when her song ‘Jar of Hearts’ featured on the TV show ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, Perri worked as a waitress. She recorded music at night while working during the daytime.
Read more about Christina Perri’s life before fame and her music career so far.
“I grew up in a cute, normal little family,” Perri recalls about her childhood. Her parents worked as hairdressers, though she describes them as “Musical”, explaining that they played music in the household frequently.
Perri’s Italian father would listen to music from his home country, including Pavarotti. The young Perri was also part of a choir that sang in Italian.
“I love the culture,” she says of her Italian roots.
Both Perri and her older brother became musicians, with him playing guitar while she focused on vocals. She witnessed her brother’s career taking off and credits this as helping to prepare her for her own future stardom.
Despite her future career, Perri was a quiet child. “I didn’t come out of my shell until later…I would be quiet and sit there and learn,” she says.
Though her own career took a back seat, a series of events pushed her to focus on herself. “My brother moved away, my best friend moved away and I split up with my boyfriend all in the same month…All of a sudden I found myself alone.”
Aged 21, Perri took the decision to relocate to Los Angeles to pursue a music career. “You know, one guitar, one suitcase, one big dream, got on a plane and came to LA…As cheesy as it sounds, I was just trying to find my place in the world,” she told CNN.
Rise to Fame
A breakout moment in Perri’s career came when her song was featured on the TV show ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. The song, ‘Jar of Hearts’, played while two dancers performed choreography, with Perri sat in the audience.
Watch the moment below.
Perri revealed more about how the TV show discovered the song in an interview with Face Culture. Her best friend emailed the track to the show’s choreographer, and less than two weeks later, the song was featured.
“It was cosmic, we all had goosebumps,” she says. “At 8pm, when it aired on the show, my entire life changed.”
The song struck a chord with the show’s viewers and was soon climbing the charts. At the time, Perri worked as a waitress.
“Everything was so new,” she says. “I quit my job as a waitress, flew to New York City, and within 20 days signed a record deal.”
‘Jar of Hearts’, a track written about an ex-lover and performed with Perri’s haunting vocals, reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Five of the musician’s songs have now appeared in the chart.
In 2011, she was approached by the producers of the ‘Twilight’ movies to create a song for ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 1’. The song featured in the credits of the movie but appeared again in the sequel, ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 2’, this time featuring more prominently.
“I’m super honored,” Perri says of the collaboration.
Shortly after her track featured on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, she released her first studio album, ‘Lovestrong’. She followed this with a Christmas album in 2012, and in 2014, released ‘Head or Heart’.
In 2019, she released the album ‘Songs for Carmella: Lullabies & Sing-a-Longs’. The album is based around music that Perri shared with her baby daughter, and the album was released on the child’s birthday.
“Putting out new songs that I sang to her all year feels so authentic and genuine as to where I’m at in my real life,” she says.