true crime

Minutes after a performance, The Voice star Christina Grimmie was shot dead by a "fan".

From her Sonic the Hedgehog-themed bedroom, 15-year-old Christina Grimmie uploaded a video of herself singing on to YouTube.

Her rendition of Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ quickly went viral, just like all the other covers she had posted.

And it was one chance viewing by superstar Selena Gomez’s mother, Mandy Teefey, that would launch the aspiring singer’s career.

Grimmie rose to fame after appearing on The Voice in 2014, blowing the judges away with her cover of Wrecking Ball in the blind auditions. Watch her audition here. Post continues after video.

Video via The Voice

Mandy encouraged her husband Brian Teefey, who was already presiding over step-daughter Selena’s career, to reach out to the teenager.

From there, things took off. Grimmie flew to California for a month of vocal lessons before beating the likes of Justin Bieber and Rihanna in a 2011 YouTube contest.

Later that year, she released her EP, Find Me, and appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Her star was truly on the rise. She toured with Gomez, her YouTube channel reached two million subscribers and she released her first studio album, With Love.

But her biggest breakthrough came when she was entered US TV talent show, The Voice. In the blind auditions, she sang Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’, convincing all four judges – Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Usher and Shakira – to turn their chairs.

After choosing Maroon 5’s Levine as her coach, she ended up placing third in the competition.

As her popularity increased, Grimmie stayed connected with her fans. They were the ones that had made her famous, after all.

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But this loyalty to her humble beginnings would ultimately come at a devastating price.

On June 10, 2016, Grimmie was due to perform a concert at The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida, with the band Before You Exit.

Shortly before the gig, the singer uploaded a video of herself, encouraging people to come along.

“Hey guys what’s up?” she says, smiling broadly. “We are in Orlando today, please come to the show if you live near Orlando, Florida. We’re at the Plaza Live, please come out!”

Grimmie was all smiles throughout the concert and after the show, in which she had performed alongside her brother, Marc Grimmie, she held a meet and greet where she signed autographs for fans.

One of them was 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl, who had travelled from nearby St. Petersburg. He wasn’t carrying a copy of Grimmie’s LP or her album, though – he was carrying two handguns and a hunting knife.

As he approached the singer, Grimmie opened her arms for a hug but instead of embracing her, Loible shot her four times at point-blank range. He was tackled by Marc Grimmie, before turning the gun on himself.

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Marc Grimmie later said, “I wasn’t afraid. There wasn’t any time for fear; it was my first instinct to tackle him, so that’s what I did. I looked, and she [Christina] was on the floor and I just remember screaming bloody murder and jumping on him, then hitting him.”

Grimmie was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead later that evening. She was just 22 years old.

Police later reported that Loibl had an unhealthy obsession with the singer.

Loibl’s friend Cory Dennington told the police that Loibl had been infatuated with Grimmie for at least six months after discovering her videos on YouTube.

“He told me that she changed him, like she helped him see the world in a different way and that… if there is a God, he sees it in her,” Dennington said.

Dennington told police that Loibl began working on bettering himself for Grimmie, who he believed was his soulmate. He had lost weight, got his teeth whitened and had laser eye surgery.

“This was all part of a plan to, I guess, look appealing so he could become a professional streamer online with video games, and that would lead him to meet her. And that was his plan,” Dennington told the police.

According to Dennington, Loibl had a difficult home life. His mother had been abusive, before fatally overdosing in 2010.

Chilling footage of the concert showed Loibl standing at the back in black jeans and a plaid shirt.

Tributes flooded in for the singer.

Her brother wrote, “Christina… was a partner in life,” Grimmie said. “A superstar. A goofball. Introverted. And a friend to everyone. Genuinely. But above all… she was my baby sister.”

The Voice paid tribute to Grimmie on Twitter: “There are no words. We lost a beautiful soul with an amazing voice.”

Selena Gomez posted a photo of the pair to her Instagram, with the caption: “My heart is absolutely broken. I miss you Christina.”

Adam Levine paid for Grimmie’s funeral.

Feature Image: Getty.

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