Ever wonder if musicians singing on the subway or playing for change in the streets make it big? Well, they do, and Bridget Kelly is living proof.
Born and raised in midtown Manhattan, Kelly got her start singing along to Lauryn Hill and Whitney Houston, perfected her craft at performing arts high school and shared her music on the Union Square subway platform before, at 22, being asked by Jay Z to sing the chorus on “Empire State of Mind” on his world tour.
“It was really a lesson on how to pack, how to be prepared,” says the Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter. “I missed a couple of flights. I missed sound check, people were pissed, but what I learned was what it really takes to go into a show.”
Now, the 28-year-old is getting ready to release her long-awaited debut LP All or Nothing on Roc Nation. Hilton set the stage of Kelly to share her story and perform new cuts from the LP along with her breakthrough track “Special Delivery” at an intimate gig at Hilton Checkers Los Angeles.
“What I love about music, as a kid and as a teenager, was the power you had to touch people,” says Kelly. “I come from a biracial background, so I was always trying to figure out where I fit in, and music for me was where that didn’t matter.”