Tori Kelly Named New American Express UNSTAGED: Artist In Residence

Tori Kelly
Lorne Thomson/Redferns

Tori Kelly performs at KOKO on Oct. 16, 2015 in London, England.

American Express is gearing up for the third installment of its UNSTAGED: Artist in Residence program -- with a twist in strategy this time around. Instead of working with multiple artists, this cycle will focus on growing and developing one: Tori Kelly.

The singer/songwriter has enjoyed a breakout year, as her debut album Unbreakable Smile (Capitol/Schoolboy Records) reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in July, paving the way for her Grammy nomination for Best New Artist announced earlier this week. Kelly is the latest in a lineup of Artists in Residence; the program launched with Mary Lambert, Betty Who and Rixton in 2014, then included Rae Sremmurd, Borns, Pia Mia and Gavin James last August.

"We have a great opportunity to evolve American Express Unstaged: Artist in Residence next year to go deeper and get closer with one artist," said Deb Curtis, American Express' vice president of global sponsorships and experiential marketing. "Tori Kelly is at that ideal point in her journey for AIR. The only thing more exciting than her music and all of the industry accolades she's being showered with is her incredible potential. We're huge fans and can't wait to collaborate with her."

Kelly said she was "honored" to be involved with the program, adding, "American Express has always made an impact in the music industry and I am thrilled to be working together in 2016.” Earlier this month, she was named Billboard's Breakthrough Artist at the 2015 Women in Music conference, where she will be honored later today (Dec. 11) at the event that will be broadcast on Lifetime on Dec. 18. More Artist in Residence details will be announced in the coming weeks.


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