During the summer of 2010, Christina Perri -- a 23-year-old café waitress who'd been moonlighting as an unsigned songwriter -- went from obscurity to the upper reaches of the Billboard charts in two short weeks.
The Philadelphia native had moved to Los Angeles several years prior, hoping to spin her musical abilities into a record deal. Her brother, Nick Perri, had found platinum-certified success as the guitarist of Shinedown, but Christina's own efforts weren't met with such luck. She married, divorced, and took up a job at the Melrose Café in Beverly Hills, with music taking a back-seat role as she struggled to pay the bills. While recording an EP, though, she managed to contact a choreographer from the TV show So You Think You Can Dance. Weeks later, one of Perri's piano ballads, "Jar of Hearts," was used in an episode of the show, and public demand for the single convinced her to release "Jar of Hearts" independently. Over 100,000 people downloaded the song during its first two weeks, helping it crack the Billboard Top 40, and Perri inked a record contract with Atlantic before the summer was up. The following February, "Jar of Hearts" climbed to platinum status as Perri put the finishing touches on her debut album, lovestrong., and prepared for a spring tour with James Blunt. Perri's first-ever holiday album, Very Merry Perri Christmas, was released in 2012. Throughout 2013 she kept her fans informed about the progress of her second studio album. Enlisting the help of a quartet of producers (Martin Johnson, Jake Gosling, John Hill, and Butch Walker), she announced details of the album, entitled Head or Heart, which was slated for release in spring 2014. Perri revealed that she worked with British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran on the track "Be My Forever." She released the single "Human" in November 2013 as a primer to the record. Head or Heart hit the streets on April 1, 2014. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi