I woke up this morning and followed my daily regimen of checking social media before leaving bed. “Man shoots ‘Voice’ contestant Christina Grimmie.” My initial thought was “how cruel.” I hate those clickbait articles that rumor celebrity deaths and always seem to go viral.
I continued scrolling and saw more and more articles from increasingly reputable sources. Articles from 12 hours ago stating she was critically injured followed by articles from 4 hours ago stating that she was pronounced dead. It can’t be true. There’s no way.
She was signing autographs after a concert at The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida last night, on June 10. An unidentified man armed with two guns opened fire and shot Christina three times. Her brother, Mark Grimmie, tackled the shooter, preventing him from harming anyone else at the concert. The shooter fatally shot himself and was pronounced dead on the scene. Christina was rushed to the hospital, where she later passed away. Christina’s publicist, Heather Weiss, confirmed her death early this morning.
I subscribed to Christina’s YouTube channel, zeldaxlove64, in 2009, when I was a freshman in high school. She had a layered scene-girl hairstyle, wore lots of eyeliner, and sat at her keyboard in front of a Sonic the Hedgehog poster while singing covers of Miley Cyrus and Christina Aguilera. Needless to say, I was obsessed. I remember my excitement when she posted her first music video, a cover of “Just A Dream” by Nelly, with fellow YouTuber, Sam Tsui. In 2014, she competed on season 6 of NBC’s The Voice and placed third.
The past two years rocket-launched Christina to the stardom she deserves. She had an entire life and career ahead of her as a recording and touring artist. “Untimely death” doesn’t do Christina any justice. It would be “untimely” if she passed away in an accident or due to illness. This tragedy is unfair. It is not fair that her life was taken from her at the young age of 22. It is not fair that the shooter entered The Plaza Live with two firearms concealed on his person. It is not fair that this starlet was taken from her family, her friends, and her fans.
I immediately thought of John Lennon, Dimebag Darrell, and Selena. People who sacrifice their personal lives and privacy every day to make our worlds just a little bit brighter through music are taken from us due to gun violence.
It’s not fair.