Ever since her song, "Jar of Hearts," was featured on the June 30 episode of Fox TV's "So You Think You Can Dance," singer/songwriter Christina Perri has rocketed from relative unknown to digital star. The pop ballad-danced to on the show by contestants Billy Bell and Kathryn McCormick-debuts at No. 28 this week on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs charts with 48,000 downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"Sitting in the audience at the show, I was brought to tears," says Perri, the younger sister of former Shinedown lead guitarist Nick Perri. "A couple of days later, I was still in a dream state. I've never experienced anything like this. It's been insane."
And the whirlwind continues. The unsigned 23-year-old finds herself traveling to New York and taking meetings with major labels in pursuit of the career she's dreamed about since picking up the guitar at 15. A Beatles enthusiast who has their names tattooed around her wrists, Perri moved from her native Philadelphia to Los Angeles several years ago. Working in area restaurants, she spent her downtime doing "little things": a commercial and singing a song for Diane Warren, while simultaneously posting acoustic performances of original tracks and covers on YouTube.
Determined to link those mini-breaks into a full-fledged career, Perri vowed last February that she would dedicate her life to music. Her big break arrived a couple of months ago when "So You Think You Can Dance" choreographer Stacie Tookey acted on a suggestion from a mutual friend of hers and Perri's. "The biggest lesson I've learned is not giving up," Perri says. "I kept going."
Managed by Tom Gates, the singer says her next step, beyond finding a label, is releasing a four-song EP. She says the songs are written and plans to record within the next two weeks. "I'm excited by what's happening," Perri adds. "But at the same time, I want to put out more music as soon as possible. I've got listeners."
Meanwhile, as of July 7 the Fox show is streaming episodes at fox.com/dance. Performance shows will stream the Monday following the live broadcast, while results shows will be available the Tuesday after they air.