Lindsey Stirling plans a mean violin. And it’s catapulted her to the rank of the top earners on YouTube.
According to a Forbes list, Stirling made $6 million in the last year, ending in June.
She couldn’t top PewDiePie, however. The video game-playing Swede, real named Felix Kjellberg, apparently rakes in $12 a year.
A pair of comedy YouTubers tied for second place. Smosh, best friends from California and the Fine Brothers, who got famous with their react and autotune the news videos, both pulled in $8.5 million.
She plays the violin. She dances. Then she does them at the same time, and it’s kind of amazing. Stirling began posting her videos of herself performing in 2007 after failing to be signed by a major record label. Now they are begging to sign her, but too late—she doesn’t need them anymore. Explains Stirling: “It’s a very loyal fan base that wants you to succeed because they found you. It wasn’t some big radio station or record label that shoved art down someone’s throat.”
Stirling, who combines violin with dancing and other performance art, burst on the scene in 2007. She plays originals, covers, and responses to other popular songs.
Her YouTube channel has over 7.1 million subscribers and more than a billion views.