During quarantine, Kelly released her new EP Solitude that reflects on her experience isolating at home during the pandemic with her husband, German basketball player Andre Murillo.
“I’ve never been more thankful for my home studio than I have during this season of being quarantined,” Kelly said on her website. “In some ways, it felt like I was going back to my roots, back when I would be in my room making songs and posting covers on YouTube.”
The new album is more joyous and upbeat than Kelly’s 2019 album Inspired By True Events, which focuses on her parents’ separation and her grandfather’s death. She explained that Solitude is the start of a new, happier chapter despite the challenges of COVID-19.
Kelly and her team had originally planned to spend much of 2020 on tour promoting Inspired by True Events, but the plans had to be canceled in March as a result of the pandemic. However, Kelly said that she still wanted to do something for her fans despite social distancing and travel restrictions.
Kelly — who first performed at Global Citizen Festival in New York City back in 2015 — will now be bringing this bringing her uplifting spirit to the Global Citizen Prize award ceremony on Dec. 19, alongside performers including Alessia Cara, Carrie Underwood, Common, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, and JoJo.
The ceremony, which celebrates the year's most inspiring and impactful leaders and activists, will be broadcast and streamed around the world from Dec. 19. You can find details about where and how to watch, wherever you are, here.
During the pandemic, Kelly and her manager, Scooter Braun, also developed a daily Instagram Live show called “QuaranTea with Tori,” during which the singer performs acoustic renditions of her own songs and covers. She also welcomes surprise guests to join the stream with her, so far including JoJo, Alessia Cara, and Jessie J.
“During the quarantine the hope is that people realize that we as 'celebrities', or whatever you want to call us, we’re really just like everyone else,” Kelly said in an interview with Pop Crush.
“We’re not the ones on the front lines," she said. "You get to really see the true heroes: the doctors and the nurses and the people restocking food at grocery stores... Those are the true heroes."
Kelly has also been taking time at home to support causes she cares about. In April, Kelly partnered with Billboard to livestream a performance and raise money for Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the US.
The singer also participated in The Disney Family Singalong special, which raised awareness about those facing hunger during the pandemic.
"They're just doing awesome things,” Kelly said about Feeding for America in an interview with Billboard. “They're working to make sure that our most vulnerable populations continue to have access to food during COVID-19."
These are not the singer’s first charitable actions, either. In 2013, Kelly released a single “Fill a Heart,” which she wrote for the “Child Hunger Ends Here” campaign. When she went on tour that year, she performed at eight venues across the US and visited local food banks during the days.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and quarantine, she also released her album A Tori Kelly Christmas on Oct. 30.
In the first track on the album, Kelly sings “Silent Night,” in a traditional style that also features her gospel flare. In “25th,” Kelly sings about her desire to be with loved ones on Christmas Day.
"I know everyone's been going through a lot,” Kelly said about 2020, in an interview with People Magazine. “So I hope this can be my gift to people, and I hope people really love it."
Join Global Citizen in December 2020 to celebrate the leaders among us who have stepped up against a backdrop of unprecedented global challenges to take action for the world we want — a world that is fair, just, and equal.
The broadcast and digitally streamed award ceremony will also feature inspirational stories of human strength and unforgettable performances that will bring together artists, activists, and global leaders to remind each of us that, together, we will come out of this year stronger. Find out more about the Global Citizen Prize here.