By Elle King and Grace VanderWaal
Tanner Elle Schneider (born July 3, 1989), known professionally as Elle King, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Her musical style encompasses country, soul, rock and blues. In 2012, King released her debut EP, The Elle King EP, on RCA. The EP track "Playing for Keeps" is the theme song for VH1's Mob Wives Chicago series. She released her debut album, Love Stuff on February 17, 2015. The album produced the US top 10 single "Ex's & Oh's," which earned her two Grammy Award nominations. King has also toured with acts such as Of Monsters and Men, Train and Michael Kiwanuka. She is the daughter of comedian Rob Schneider and former model London King.
VanderWaal was born near Kansas City, Kansas, to Tina and David VanderWaal, who lived in Lenexa at the time. The family later moved to Suffern, New York. Since winning America's Got Talent, VanderWaal has been home-schooled and enrolled in online courses. VanderWaal began composing her first songs at age three, using a wireless microphone. As a preteen, she found songwriting inspiration by watching movies and trying to imagine what a character was feeling, and "what it would be like if I were them, and wrote a song." She was inspired to learn the ukulele after watching a family friend play and seeing a Twenty One Pilots video on YouTube. She then bought one, using money she had received for her 11th birthday, and watched more videos to teach herself how to play. She has also played the saxophone in her school's marching band. After learning to play the ukulele, VanderWaal began to perform during open mic events at small venues near her home and to study music theory. In July 2016, after her audition on AGT, VanderWaal performed at the Lafayette Theatre in Suffern and at the Ramapo Summer Concert Series at Palisades Credit Union Park.
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