Since YouTube was launched, it’s served as a springboard for many aspiring artists, such as Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, and Tory Kelly, who wanted to try their luck in the music industry. While YouTube doesn’t guarantee success or a surge of views, it gives an opportunity to make music and test the waters without having a record label or even a recording studio. One YouTube star who has been making waves for years now with her incredible talent and impressive vocal abilities is Allie Sherlock. She broke out into the music scene in 2017, and fans now wonder what she is doing, and her plans for the future. Let’s dive into her latest endeavors!
Who is Allie Sherlock?
Allie Sherlock is a social media celebrity, busker, singer, and songwriter who gained fame by posting song covers on her YouTube channel. She was born on 7 April 2005, in Douglas, Cork, Ireland; she lost her mother, Michelle, when she was nine, Allie revealing that she died very young, aged 28, having given birth to Allie when 18. In an interview, she talked about her mother’s death, saying: ‘It was a very sad time, and each anniversary is particularly hard. I still miss her, but time heals, too, and it’s always good to get it out. Sometimes if you can’t speak about it, you’ve got to write about it. I believe she would be proud of where I am right now.’
She has one sibling, a half-sister from her mother’s side, but her name is unknown. Allie caught the bug for music from her father, who taught her how to play guitar at the age of nine. Her father also does her recording,s and edits then posts her YouTube videos. When she was 11 years old, she began busking in her father’s company, which films her, and is ‘on guard when people are inappropriate.’ Talking to the media outlet Daily Mirror, she revealed how they came up with the idea for Allie to busk: ‘I just liked performing for my family and busking, so my dad and I googled ‘the best places in the world to busk’, and what came up were Dublin and Los Angeles. So we chose Dublin because we didn’t want to go all the way to LA.’
She Was Bullied
Allie attended a high school, but reportedly dropped out in 2016 due to bullying, and opted for homeschooling. In an interview, she explained her decision to leave school, disclosing: ‘I was only 10 or 11 at the time. It was very difficult. I felt like I wasn’t wanted in school by the other kids, and I felt very left out. I had originally been in an all-girls school, but then I changed to a mixed school because it was closer to my house. I was the new kid, so that didn’t help.
Allie also explained that she was not physically bullied: ‘It was more the way they treated me. It was done in a sneakier, slyer way. I would come home really stressed, and I would be literally perspiring from the stress.’
Her father would often ask her what was wrong and why she was so stressed, but she hoped it would eventually change. When it didn’t, she needed a way out, which was homeschooling, explaining: ‘Once I was homeschooled, I felt safe.’ Now that she has a voice and platform, she shared a message for all who are being bullied: ‘It will get better. Talk to someone. Don’t keep it to yourself.’
It’s believed that she will take her GED in 2022; meantime, the 17-year-old music prodigy of Irish nationality performs almost weekly on Grafton Street, Dublin.
How did she become famous?
Allie launched her self-titled YouTube account in 2014, and with the help of her father, who is also her manager, she began posting various covers. Initially, she wasn’t attracting much attention, but it all changed in June 2017, when her cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Supermarket Flowers” went viral. Overnight, the 12-year-old Allie became an internet sensation, and various media outlets reported about the young Irish superstar in the making. The year 2017 was lucky for Allie, who auditioned for the 12th season of the famous competition show “Britain’s Got Talent”. As expected, she didn’t disappoint, and advanced to the second round of the competition. Her audition was never broadcast, but her other performances in the competition saw the light, but she was eliminated before the semi-finals.
Then in 2018, she caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, who invited Allie to appear on her show, saying: ‘When I saw a video of our next guest singing on the street of Dublin, I knew I had to meet her.’ Very nervous and excited at the same time, Allie performed Adele’s “Million Years Ago” and had a chat with Ellen. Talking to a media outlet, she revealed how she felt being on Ellen’s show: ‘Obviously it felt real as I was there, but the other part was just like a dream, being next to Ellen.’
In November 2017, she released her debut self-titled album with 10 tracks, and besides “Britain’s Got Talent”, she performed at the Miss Universe Ireland pageant. In 2018, her popularity grew even more, partly due to her appearance on The Ellen Show, which exposed her to the American market and garnered new fans. Allie appeared on “The Ray D’Arcy Show” and performed “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran.
Talking of her musical influences, she’s versatile, and covers pop, rock, and R’n’B music. Having grabbed the attention of many record labels, in 2018 she signed a five-year contract with Patriot Records, a label owned by Ryan Tedder, the producer and lead vocalist of “One Republic”, besides which, she’s also worked with Charlie Puth. In her interview with Ellen, she said: ‘We were going over to Ryan’s house to do some recording and have a meeting. When I walked into his house, there was Charlie Puth just standing there. I’m a huge Charlie fan, and I love his songs.’
Talking of her live performances, besides her usual busking, she performed at the Olympia Theatre Dublin, at the Elbphilahrmonie Concert Hall in Hamburg, Germany, and at the Cork Opera House. In addition, in 2020, she supported One Republic during their European tour at various concerts in Paris (France), Cologne (Germany), Utrecht (Netherlands), and London Palladium (UK).
In 2020 Allie released her debut extended play (EP) of Etta James’ “At Last,” and in June of that year, she had the honor to perform with the RTE Concert Orchestra for an episode of the educational program “Home School Hub.” During a hectic year, she also shared the stage with a collective of female artists entitled “Irish Women in Harmony,” with whom she recorded a version of “Dreams” as a contribution to a domestic abuse charity. In June 2020, she released her second album entitled “A Part of Me,” which is available to purchase on her official site and Amazon. She also has merchandise that features T-shirts and hoodies, with her name and exclusive signed photos.
In 2021, she made an appearance on Virgin Media Television in Dave Fanning’s show entitled “Fanning at Whelan’s.”
New & Irish: Fanning at Whelan's, tonight at 10pm on Virgin Media Two.
Join Dave Fanning as we turn the spotlight on some quality Irish talent, including @InhalerDublin, @alliesherlock, zenarcadergr8, @asmythmusic, @kynsy___ and more. #FanningAtWhelans @GuinnessIreland pic.twitter.com/qL6GxmJNkA
— Virgin Media Television (@VirginMedia_TV) December 4, 2021
Since going viral, Allie has amassed a massive following across various social media. She is active and posts regularly, especially on her YouTube channel, which currently has 5.5 million subscribers and 966 million views. Most of her videos feature her busking in Cork, although she occasionally does a “Q & A” video, and collaborates with other artists. Her most famous and viewed video is “OMG HIS VOICE IS UNIQUE- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean | Allie Sherlock & Fabio Rodrigues cover,” which currently counts 56 million views. Another fantastic video of Allie that caught fire is entitled “AMAZING MOMENT guy JOINS singing Perfect by Ed Sheeran in Italian | Allie Sherlock”, in which an Italian guy unexpectedly joins her during her performance, leaving the crowd in awe as he continues to sing the same song, but in Italian. Another video worth mentioning is her cover of “Unchained Melody” by Righteous Brothers with Cuan Durkin; the video has 35 million views.
Allie is also famous on Instagram, boasting 2.2 million adherents, while on TikTok, she has over 200,000 followers, with nearly 900,000 likes.
What is she doing now?
The young star is working on creating new music, and has been stuck in the studio writing songs with Kodaline guitarist Steve Garrigan. In June 202, she performed at the AO Arena in Manchester for the Queen of the United Kingdom’s 70th Platinum Jubilee celebrations, and in July at Hermitage Green at the Horizon Irish Open golf tournament at Mount Juliet Estate.
Since she went viral, various record labels have expressed interest in signing Allie. Now that she’s approaching her 18th birthday, some significant labels are queuing to sign her, such as Polydor, Sony, Universal, Atlantic, and Disney. Allie says: ‘It’s about picking the right label now, but it’s lovely to have the choice so we can get the best deal and build up the best team for me. I want to pick out the songs I have written that tell my personal story the best’.
In her interview with Independent, Allie shared some details about her upcoming album, saying it would have a pop/grunge vibe and style similar to that of Olivia Rodrigo. On 24 July, she posted a snippet of her new song, “Narcissist” on her Instagram and TikTok. Fans reached out to her about the full version, and she replied: ‘Not out yet!’
— Allie Sherlock (@alliesherlock) August 1, 2022
How does she deal with harassment?
For all street performers, it’s usual to have people come up and ask for a selfie or a hug. Even though it happens less frequently, some of those people tend to behave inappropriately, and the good thing for Allie is that her father is always beside her. In a recent interview, she opened up about the harassment she’s experienced while performing on the street, saying: ‘There are always inappropriate guys. Sometimes when they come up and ask me for a photo, they put their hands in inappropriate places way too far down my back, and I have to tell them, ‘You can’t do that; move your hand.’ A similar situation happens to her every two weeks. The harassment began when she was 14 or 15, and progressed as she entered puberty. Allie also said that majority of men that behave in such a way are usually in their 40s.
While on the subject, she discussed how this rarely happens to male buskers, but has seen it frequently happening to other female buskers, calling for more protection. Allie described one incident: ‘One guy was in a performer’s face while she was playing and tears were rolling down her cheeks at what he was saying to her. Passers-by came to help, so it’s great that people are aware, but I think most people aren’t aware enough of what’s happening.’
Allie also shared that her father is always on the look-out, and has rules about her performing on the street. Similar to most fathers, one of the biggest no-no’s is wearing revealing clothing. Allie said: ‘Obviously I’m not going to go out wearing very revealing clothes – that’s also a stringent rule by my dad.’ However, that’s not an issue for Allie, saying that she doesn’t like showing-off her body – she likes to wear clothes that are in style, and generally wears what she wants.
What is the most someone dropped in her guitar suitcase?
Street performers usually have a box or a guitar suitcase open for potential ‘donations’ or as financial support for the aspiring artist, and that is how Allie also makes money in addition to her YouTube channel. In her interview with Daily Mirror, she talked about the tips saying ‘I’ve got a lot of people throwing in 50 Euros. One person was very drunk, and he threw in like 50 euros. So a lot of things happen, like, say St Patrick’s Day – lot of drunk people just throw in a lot of money, which is great. Hopefully, they don’t remember the next day.’ While some intoxicated people tend to tip Allie generously, others tend to cause trouble. Talking to a media outlet, she spoke of an incident when a drunk who was ‘falling all over the place’ stumbled and fell into her guitar case; Allie disclosed: ‘My dad tried to pull him up out of the case so I could continue singing. He got very angry, and smashed his bottle of liquor on the floor.’
The Issue with Her Tip Card
In January 2022, Allie received backlash for a tip card reader set at 3 Euros. She posted a video of her performance on TikTok, and many complained about the price, saying that it should be set to a lower amount and that it is too much to ask for.
If you watched some of her numerous performances you might have noticed that she has been singing with a band. Having seen the complaints on TikTok, she responded: ‘”Everyone is complaining that €3 is too much to ask for. I don’t take any of the money. I give all the tips to the band.’ Luckily, not everyone shared the same opinion, and many commented that 3 Euros was not a huge amount, one fan writing: ‘The arts won’t survive if we can’t pay artists. Three euro really isn’t a lot for a whole band.’
The young star has already accomplished so much for a 17-year-old, from signing a major record deal, to appearing on “Ellen Degeneres Show”. Without a doubt Allie is set on a course straight to stardom!