Christina Grimmie lives on through both her music and the memories of family, friends and fans. Here, Marcus Grimmie looks back on his sister’s life and career, plus what’s to come.
Ahead of the first-ever Christina Grimmie Foundation event happening on Oct. 25 in Hollywood, CA, I spoke to Marcus Grimmie about what’s in store for Christina’s fans, including the re-release of beloved cover videos, as well as unreleased content. Above all, Marcus gives us a glimpse into what it was like to have the pleasure of knowing Christina.
What would you like fans to know about the inaugural Christina Grimmie Foundation event this October?
Next month is exciting, if bittersweet at the same time. We’ll be having our first official fundraiser for the Christina Grimmie Foundation, and my family and I are excited to get underway with it.
It’s a fundraiser for the Foundation, and The Voice is being honored at it [with The Legacy Award.] We’re going to try and make it an annual fundraiser. This first year is about getting ourselves out there and tell everyone about what we’re doing.
Are any of the coaches involved with the Foundation event?
We’ve reached out to a few of them, yes!
Do you think Christina’s time on The Voice changed the way she viewed performing?
Definitely, just because she never performed for millions of people like that. It was intense. But she had a leg up compared to some of the others on the show because she had been on a few world tours. It really honed her skill and she was really validated as an artist throughout this. She came into her own and it helped her for the rest of her career. Tour can be routine, but this was live TV and Adam Levine really helped her with that.
Will you or the family make remarks?
Oh, definitely! It’s nice to be able to talk about Christina, which is also why I like doing interviews like this. That’s what it always comes back to. The Foundation has been almost like a relief for us, because it’s like a quest and a mission that keeps us focused rather than caught up in sadness or distractions. My dad has been a key part of it since everything happened, too. We’re doing this for her, and for other people. It’s been healthy for the family.
I also want to talk about the return of Grimmie Thursday, when videos on her YouTube channel are released.
An idea we’ve had is — there are a lot of videos that have been taken down, and we finally got all the issues squared away. We’re going to be relaunching a lot of Christina’s cover songs. It’ll be nostalgic for the old fans, and something fresh for the new fans! [Ed. note: today, Sept. 13, marks the reinstating of the series.]
One of my personal favorite covers of Christina’s is “Somebody That I Used To Know” with Noah Guthrie.
Yeah, she and Noah did “Billie Jean,” too. I think we were in Florida on tour — I was with her. We met Noah, and they did the cover that day! They just got together. Alot of her covers are still online, but there are some mind-blowing videos that aren’t up…
One of the songs is “Halo” by Beyonce. She loved that song. In our high school, she did a talent show-type thing. She had to be a sophomore or freshman. She performed it, and did so well. She lost, though, because she didn’t have as many friends and it was like a popularity contest! But she never beat herself up. She was always happier that she performed well, more than if she won or lost.
Will there be any never-before-seen content?
Keep your eyes open, yes!
Awesome. What can we expect from the CD version of the digital album?
Well, it’ll have her favorite photo shoot, the last one she did. As a lot of her fans know, she was a stickler for the fancy photo shoots because she always just wanted to wear a t-shirt and video game hat! But this one, I remember her raving about. She loved the photographer and how good he was with her, and the work they did. I think everyone will really like the photos.
For fans who never got the chance to meet her, what was Christina like?
She had one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’d ever seen. On the last tour we did, we had these meet and greets, and the unfortunate thing that happened was the lack of security with it, but she would always want to go out and meet the fans — for free! A lot of people do paid meet and greets pre-show, but she just loved meeting people, even after performing. Throughout this process, with this fundraiser and foundation, we want to have the same heart that Christina had.
I’ll be honest. She was good at putting herself out as the person she was, and that’s what fans attached to. She was just like them. She loved video games, relaxing, TV shows, and singing. That pretty much covers everything. She would get along in a room with anybody.
Fans petitioned for Nintendo to name a Zelda character after her in a new game. It didn’t happen, but have you played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?
Yes, I did! The Nintendo Switch came out around Christina’s birthday, and I was in New Jersey to celebrate her birthday with family and friends, and I went and bought the Switch just so I could play Breath of the Wild, and I beat it in three days! Well, you know, you can’t really complete it, but I did all of the main storylines with a couple friends. It was like three eleven hour days. I wanted to beat it by my sister’s birthday. It’s a great game.
Do you think Christina would have enjoyed it?
I would say 100%, just because it’s Zelda, but it’s open-world. She liked Skyrim but didn’t love it, because you can do anything you want. So…I would love to have the conversation with her, that’s for sure. I know she’d love the whole idea of it. She was better than me at all the Zelda games!