Cimorelli
Once part of a humble family YouTube channel, these siblings are showing up on the music charts. (Image via Instagram/@cimorelliband)
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Cimorelli

Starting off with a small channel on YouTube, these sisters have tasted musical success while remaining true to both their family and audience.

When naming OG YouTube channels, Cimorelli always seems to be left out.

They are a girl group composed of six sisters from Northern California. Since 2008, they have accumulated 5.47 million subscribers, with their first viral video being a cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA.”

With zero connections to the music industry, the sisters grew up in a Catholic, home-schooled family of 11 kids. Their mother, who is a pianist, taught them how to sing and play the piano at a young age.

After “Party in the USA,” the six sisters — Christina, Katherine, Lisa, Amy, Lauren and Dani — continued to upload weekly covers of popular artists, such as One Direction and Justin Bieber. They were soon discovered and signed by Island Records UK. The girls were off to Los Angeles for five years, where they went to red carpets, worked with big names and created music videos.

Cimorelli released several EPs over the years, including “The CimFam,” “Believe It” and “Made in America,” which made it into the top 10 on Billboard 200.

The CimFam continued to grow, gaining fans from all around the world.

The sisters had it all — well, that’s what it seemed like. In the city of dreams, the sisters were exhausted and were debating quitting music.

Moving to Nashville 

In 2015, they left Los Angeles and their record label to become independent artists in Nashville, Tennessee.

Their music started to feel more genuine and real, and I, specifically, started to listen more intently.

The group released their first mixtape, “Hearts on Fire,” which includes nine original songs about topics ranging from family struggles to body image. They performed these songs live on the Renegade tour in Europe and the United States and the Hearts on Fire tour around the United States, the Philippines and South America.

As the positive feedback rolled in, the sisters continued to release several songs about self-worth, family and friendship struggles, boy troubles, positive body image and asking those thinking of suicide to get help. This included songs such as “You’re Worth it” and “Pretty in Pink.”

“Up at Night” is their first album, completely written by the bandmates, with some country-pop flair. It is a collection of songs about things keeping you up at night, specifically boys and family. This included fan favorite “Fall Back” and two of my personal favorites, “I Like It” and “I’m A Mess.” Their second and third albums, “Sad Girls Club” and “Alive,” followed suit.

Overall, the girls have written and released five albums and many EPs. They are continuing to release music on Spotify, YouTube and other platforms.

Venturing Out: Books, Podcasts and Vlogs

Something else I love about Cimorelli is they are not afraid to adapt to the ever-changing world of social media. Fans and YouTube subscribers have gotten to know the sisters’ personalities and family over the years.

Other than musical covers, they post vlogs, challenges and other fun videos. For example, their most recent video is Lauren Cimorelli and Lisa Cimorelli switching closets. Some other videos include “Morning Routines” and “Sister vs. Sister Song Writing Challenges.”

Personally, my favorite videos are about their music process, how they create their harmonies and how they film and record their covers. It is unique nowadays for music groups to be intensely involved in the process.

Some other creative ventures include releasing a book titled “Believe in You: Big Sister Stories and Advice on Living Your Best Life” in 2019, finishing four seasons of their podcast, “The Cimorelli Podcast,” and starring in a lightly scripted reality show, titled “Life As Cimorelli.”

Keep in mind, they are independent artists with no huge record label backing them up. It’s impressive, to say the least.

Lisa and Lauren have even released music outside of the group. For example, Lauren Cimorelli released her album “Orange + Blue” this year.

Christianity 

Being a spiritual person myself, it’s refreshing to see how open the sisters are about how significant their faith is to them. However, they don’t try to force it on their audience; they are nonjudgmental to their fans’ different walks of life. They say, even if you make mistakes, don’t shame yourselves.

They are still unapologetically Christian, though, and these ladies are still able to produce pop music that speaks to young Christians.

In 2016, Cimorelli released their first Christian album, titled “Alive,” including the songs “Never Let Me Fall” and “My God Is Here.”

Personal Lives: Marriages, Engagement, Pregnancy, etc. 

Earlier this year, the oldest sister, Christina Cimorelli, published a video titled “I was pregnant… and I lost my baby.” She talks about how she miscarried in her first pregnancy. The comments were flooded with support and other women relating to her story. The 30-year-old has since given birth to a baby boy.

These types of personal videos are not uncommon for their channel.

For example, Christina and Katherine posted videos about their engagement, introducing their fiancés and their wedding process.

The Cimorelli siblings have also made multiple videos addressing questions and comments about their crooked fingers, a trait that has been passed down from their father’s side.

Amy, one of the middle sisters, even made a video talking about a rare disease she has called Turner Syndrome. This disease is the reason for her short height in a family of tall people. She talks about her journey and the complications that came with it.

Dani Leaves 

Jan. 4 of 2020 was a sad day for the CimFam because this is the day the sisters announced that the youngest sister, Dani, was leaving the band.

They posted a video titled “Dani is leaving the band.” Dani told us this decision was a long time coming, and she wanted to pursue other career paths besides music, specifically graphic design. All of the sisters cried throughout the 20-minute video.

“It’s really hard for us to keep it together, so we’re not going to keep it together,” Christina says at the beginning of the video. “We’re just going to express ourselves.”

Dani joined the band at age 9 and departed at age 19. She has since moved in with her husband, Emmyn Calleiro, and both have individual YouTube channels, as well as a collaborative channel.

Dani posted an individual video on her channel, titled “why I left Cimorelli,” to further explain her decision. The now 20-year-old posts videos weekly about her daily life.

Hit Records Are Pointless

The five other sisters continued onward with Cimorelli and shared several new projects in 2020. The women have made many acoustic medleys and covers this year, including an Ed Sheeran medley and a “High School Musical” medley.

The members of the group, especially Christina, are known for emotional performances and giving words of inspiration at their concerts.

In March 2019, when performing in Chicago, Christina talked to the crowd about how difficult life can be sometimes, which she knows from personal experience.

Christina and the rest of her sisters want to help their fans in any way they can.

“It’s not just about music, and singing, and YouTube,” she said. “It’s not just about that anymore. That’s just part of it. It’s about empowering you guys, and being role models for you guys, and being hope for you guys, and being a positive light in your lives. It’s our number one priority.”

Something distinct in their performances is that you can tell each member is emotional by the power of their lyrics. They don’t just write and produce songs for it to hit No. 1 on the charts.

In the time of COVID-19, people need hope more than ever.

Cimorelli tells the audience to not hide their struggles and heartaches. They remind them that everyone goes through hard times, and it is possible to rise above them.

“We’re not perfect, and we are just learning every day as we can,” Christina said, making sure to move her gaze around the crowd. “We’re trying to share all that with you guys because we care so much about actually changing the people that we’re influencing for the better, just like we care about changing ourselves for the better.”

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