Back in 2014 a video of a very young Angelina Jordan singing a cover of Billie Holiday captivated the hearts of millions in her native Norway. Later in 2020, her passion for music and incredible talent catapulted her to international stardom when she auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” with “Bohemian Rhapsody”, never letting the audience forget about her from then on.
However, being a young artist in the always competitive and rough world of entertainment can take a toll on even the most talented artists, but is this the case of Angelina Jordan? Keep with us to know all about Angelina nowadays, the most heartbreaking details about her personal life, motivations and where her career is heading to.
What Is Angelina Jordan Doing Now?
Fortunately for those who missed seeing Angelina from her appearances in “America’s Got Talent”, she’s still very active in the music world. Although she’s relatively inactive on social media, her rare posts let us see that nowadays she’s actively creating music and performing, on top of dealing with being a prodigy in her teens.
Long gone are the times in which she lived in her native Norway, but her life in California seems to be as good as ever, posing on pics with big industry names such as will.i.am and Heidi Klum. Impressively enough, her cover of Duffy’s song “Mercy” was featured as the main song of the film “The Hating Game”, and her cover of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” released in mid-2022 attracted millions of views in only a matter of weeks.
While there’s still a long way to go for Angelina, the future in music is looking bright for this young talent.
Why Does She Sing Barefoot?
While her talent and music prowess are what people notice first when it comes to Angelina Jordan, it’s not rare to find people wondering why she sings barefoot, and whether there’s a tragic story behind it.
Interestingly enough, there’s indeed a heartful and somewhat sad story behind Angelina’s choice to step on every stage without shoes. In her book “Between Two Hearts” released in 2015, Angelina wrote about her experience in giving her ocean green shoes to an orphan girl in Iran who was barefoot: ‘I did love the shoes. I loved them, they were very nice. I miss them a little, but I was happy to help someone’, she admitted in a book talk interview.
As small as Angelina’s gesture seems, the experience changed her perception of life in a good way, as the girl promised to pray for Angelina, as long as she sang for ‘the poor children without shoes’. Both girls apparently never met afterwards, but Angelina stated that she always sees her in her heart, and has kept her promise.
The story in the book must have happened very early in Angelina’s life, as she was barefoot during her audition in “Norway’s Got Talent” when she was eight years old.
Angelina Jordan’s promise of singing ‘for the poor children without shoes’ isn’t limited to only singing barefoot. In her still young career, Angelina has been involved is social causes, and appeared in the Save the Children’s Peace Prize Celebration in 2014 to sing for Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, who in that year became recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting in favor of children’s rights to education.
What is everyone doing during social distancing? 🤔❤️🙏🏻
Angelina has also performed in several charity events for children with heart diseases, collecting funds for vaccinations and environmental causes, all to accomplish her mission of using her prodigious talent to help other people.
Just as impressive as Angelina’s career is, so were her first steps in music. At the very early age of one and half years, she was totally mesmerized while seeing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” video on YouTube and from then on she was unstoppable. Her love for jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues has been evident from the start, admiring big American stars such as Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday.
Angelina’s fascination for the past century’s music is admittedly uncommon for such a young girl, but so is her incredible talent and mature voice tone. Back in her native Norway, she attended the Oslo Waldorf School, and was musically trained at Oslo School of Music and the Performing Arts, where she learned piano and took singing lessons.
While Angelina’s musical prowess is a mix between talent and hard work, artistry apparently comes in the family, as her Iranian grandmother Mery Zamani is a poet and illustrator, who was in charge of the visual aspects of Angelina’s book “Between Two Hearts”. As well, Angelina has admitted to enjoying writing and drawing, besides her love for music.
“Norway’s Got Talent”
In 2014 Angelina Jordan surprised the world for the first time when she auditioned for “Norway’s Got Talent”. Her rendition of Billie Holiday’s “Gloomy Sunday” was marvelous enough to not only secure her a spot in the show, but to become an internet sensation, thanks to her audition’s video.
While her talent was evident to anyone present, the fact that she was barefoot and sported a 1950-ish hairstyle truly ended up setting her apart from other contestants. Her second appearance singing Billie Holiday’s “I’m a Fool to Want You” inevitably gained her the heart of the audience, so by the time her rendition of Nancy Sinatra’s “My Baby Shot Me Down”, the show was already hers.
The season’s final show saw Angelina becoming the youngest winner in “Norway’s Got Talent” history, with her cover of “Summertime” by George Gershwin. Angelina is also one of the show’s most famous winners, as her increasing fame online gained her a big following throughout her path in the show, and doubling the viewing audience percentage compared to the previous season. According to the network’s reports, her final performance was watched by over a million people, and 46% of the audience voted in her favor.
Other TV Appearances
By the time she won “Norway’s Got Talent”, Angelina Jordan had already caught the attention of millions of people all around the world. That’s why it wasn’t surprising that only a couple of months later, she was in the American talk show “The View”, performing Bart Howard’s “Fly Me to the Moon”, a song which Angeline confessed to feeling ‘special about it’, in an interview with a TV in her country: ‘When I sang it for my mum, she said that this song is nice, but it was an incredibly sad song’.
The next couple of years saw Angelina performing in shows such as the Norway-based “Singalong at the Border”, and the international “Little Big Shots”. As well, Angelina made her acting debut in the crime series “Lilyhammer” during its third season finale.
At only eight years old, Angelina released her first disc – “My Christmas” – which contained three covers of classics for the holidays, and took her to several stages of Norway’s TV.
Later in 2017, Angelina released her eponymous extended play (EP), which contained six tracks including a stellar version of Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black” with original lyrics by Angelina. The video for the latter song and her cover of “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins became viral on YouTube. She performed Hawkins’ song in “Little Big Stars” in Germany, though her increasing fame had previously led her to collaborate with Avicii for their cover of “Feeling Good”, originally by Nina Simone.
— Susana diaz (@sassi2010) June 2, 2018
2018 saw Angelina releasing her first original recording, “What is Life” as the first single of her album “It’s Magic”, which contained both covers and original songs sung by her and accompanied by the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces and was performed in a memorable concert in Oslo, attended even by some of the country’s politician. Later that year she self-released her single “Shield”, and took part in Nico Cartosio’s “Song For A”.
“America’s Got Talent”
The world has known about Angelina ever since her audition for “Norway’s Got Talent” was shared by people all around the world. However, despite singing for big international names such as Quincy Jones in London, and for Barack Obama in Stockholm, Angelina maintained her normal life in Oslo, attending school, while using her free time for music.
However, that completely changed when in 2020, Angelina auditioned for “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” during its second season. Needless to say, her audition singing a perfect rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” became viral in no time, instantly gaining her a spot in the season’s finale, thanks to judge Heidi Klum’s giving her a golden buzzer.
Angelina Jordan wins over Heidi Klum and the rest of the world with this jaw-dropping vocal performance!
Posted by America's Got Talent on Monday, January 6, 2020
She later performed Sara Bareilles’s version of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, gained Angelina the praise of the audience and judges, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to gain a spot in the top three. That being said, appearing in “America’s Got Talent” opened many doors for Angelina, including settling in the US, and being invited to perform with Lady Gaga, as she disclosed in an interview with VG. More importantly, it was the perfect start for a foreign girl in setting up her career on the right path.
Although it’s not necessary to be extremely talented to become viral on the internet, the truth is that the fame achieved by Angelina Jordan online is well deserved. While it’s impossible to count how many times her “Gloomy Sunday” video was watched back when it went viral in 2014, that audition gained her coverage from big news platforms such as Time and Mirror.uk, which weren’t shy about praising her talent to the rest of the world.
The rest of her performances in the show reached the hearts of millions of people, who actively voted for her until her grand victory, when her mother Sara Astar admitted to wanting Angelina to ‘have a normal upbringing’ during an interview with Norwegian TV. However, at that point Angelina was already just too famous, and in only a matter of a couple months, her cover of “Fly Me To The Moon” performed in an American TV show became viral worldwide for the second time. Afterwards, Angelina performed on many stages around the world, while also gaining a huge following on Facebook and YouTube.
Nowadays, her most watched video is her tribute to Whitney Houston with “I Have Nothing”, with over 14 millions views, and her two YouTube channels have over one million subscribers and 100 million views in total, on top of having two billion views on her Facebook page, according to her website.
Moving To The US
Despite not winning “America’s Got Talent”, Angelina Jordan settled in the US for good in search of making her dream come true. Not long afterwards, Republic Records signed her to release her most recent singles, such as “Million Miles” and “7th Heaven”.
Although attracting the attention of such a renowned label as Republic is mostly due to her astounding talent, the truth is that to achieve that feat her team worked really hard. According to her manager, cousin Michael Astar, the path which lead Angelina to worldwide stardom started several years ago, when she asked him to take her to the US, to follow her dream. He then riskily traveled alone to Los Angeles, familiarized himself with the industry, and returned home, telling her, ‘pack your bags! We are going next week to pursue your dream! All in baby’. Her smile made it all worth the hassle’, he told the website Music Norway in 2020.
While being signed to Republic Records is a big deal for Angelina’s career, according to Michael it required a lot of ‘commitment’ with her artistry, to be able to find a team she could comfortably work with. Nonetheless, his confidence in securing his cousin a bright and successful career was pretty evident during the interview: ‘I can tell you this, it’s going to be amazing, globally’, he stated.
Inspiration & Creativeness
Needless to say, Angelina Jordan has been strongly inspired by American jazz and blues legends, something confirmed by considering her discography.
That being said, Angelina has admitted to being inspired by modern singers such as Adele, and wanting to collaborate with Post Malone, The Weeknd and Sam Smith. Regarding her creative processes, she admitted to avoiding certain internet distractions, to focus on her music: ‘I like to make music and write lyrics. So I prefer to spend time in the studio. If I’m very active on social media, it takes all my creativity away’, she said, during an interview with the Norwegian site VG.
Well aware of being described as an ‘old soul’, Angelina doesn’t settle for any stigma regarding her ability to feel and create music: ‘To me, art doesn’t have any age gap/ restrictions, it is for everyone, all ages’, she told The Honey Pop in 2021.
True to her word, Angelina’s uniqueness and deep passion for music is what makes everyone who listens to her so enthralled. Hopefully, her essence as an artist will stay the same as her career continues its strong upward trend.