Nikki Yanofsky

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Nikki Yanofsky
Yanofsky performs in Vienna in 2010
Yanofsky performs in Vienna in 2010
Background information
Birth nameNicole Rachel Yanofsky
Born (1994-02-08) February 8, 1994 (age 29)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
GenresJazz, pop, Soul
Years active2006–present
LabelsA440 Entertainment, Universal Music Canada

Nicole Rachel "Nikki" Yanofsky (born February 8, 1994) is a Canadian jazz-pop singer from Montreal, Quebec. She sang the CTV Olympic broadcast theme song, "I Believe", which was also the theme song of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. She also performed at the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics and at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games. She has released four studio albums to date, including Nikki in 2010, Little Secret in 2014, Turn Down the Sound in 2020, and Nikki By Starlight in 2022.

Early life[edit]

Yanofsky was born and raised in a "close-knit Jewish family"[1] in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.[2] Her parents are Elyssa (née Rosenthal) and Richard Yanofsky.[1][3] She has two older brothers, Michael and Andrew.[4]

Yanofsky graduated from St. George's School of Montreal.[2]


Yanofsky recorded the Ella Fitzgerald song "Air Mail Special" for Verve Records and it was released in June 2007 on the album We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song. Produced by Tommy LiPuma, this track made Yanofsky the youngest singer to record for Verve.[5] She then recorded "Gotta Go My Own Way" in English and French for the movie High School Musical 2.

She collaborated with Herbie Hancock and on a crossover version of the swing era hit "Stompin' at the Savoy". It was released on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's audio book, On the Shoulders of Giants.[6]

In September 2008, Yanofsky released her first full-length album, a live CD/DVD concert package entitled Ella...Of Thee I Swing. She earned two Juno Award nominations in 2009: New Artist of the Year and Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. She also won Favourite Jazz Artist at the 2009 Canadian Independent Music Awards.[7]

Songwriters Stephan Moccio and Alan Frew chose Yanofsky to sing CTV's broadcast theme for the 2010 Winter Olympics, "I Believe", which reached number one on the Canadian Hot 100 on the week of February 27, 2010. This made her the first Canadian artist to have a number one song on that chart. The song was certified "Quadruple Platinum" for digital downloads in April 2010.[8]

In 2010, Yanofsky recorded her first studio album, Nikki, with Phil Ramone.[5] Along with the album-release of "I Believe", it included some of Yanofsky's first original works, collaborating with Jesse Harris, Ron Sexsmith and Feist. Nikki was released in April 2010 by Decca Records and was supported by an international tour. It earned a Juno nomination for "Vocal Jazz Album of the Year" and won Yanofsky the WAVE Smooth Jazz Award for "Female Vocalist of the Year".

For Ganz's October 2010 Webkinz Pet of the Month song, Yanofsky recorded a version of the Webkinz World song "I Dream in Pink".[9]

A 2011 jazz recording of popular Disney songs entitled Everybody Wants to Be a Cat: Disney Jazz, Volume 1 included a version of the song "It's a Small World" sung by Yanofsky. Other jazz artists on the album included Esperanza Spalding, Roy Hargrove, Dave Brubeck, Joshua Redman, and Alfredo Rodriguez.

Yanofsky's second studio album, Little Secret, was released in Canada in May 2014. The album was executive produced by Quincy Jones.

In 2015 Yanofsky began collaborating with Wyclef Jean on her new album and EP. Her Solid Gold EP was released in Canada on September 30, 2016.[10]

In August 2018, Nikki Yanofsky started teasing on her Instagram for an upcoming music video. Nikki Yanofsky has worked with Herbie Hancock,, Elton John and now working with her favourite artist and mentor Quincy Jones.[11] "Big Mouth" was released on September 14, 2018.[12]

On July 10, 2020, Yanofsky released her third studio album Turn Down the Sound. Her fourth studio album, Nikki By Starlight, was released on October 21, 2022.


Yanofsky autographing a wall at KPLU-FM in October 2010

Yanofsky began her professional singing career by performing at the 2006 Montreal International Jazz Festival.[5] Only 12 at the time, this performance made her the youngest performer ever to headline at the festival. She has returned each year since, including a special outdoor performance for the festival's 30th Anniversary in 2009 and a performance with l'Orchestre Métropolitain in 2011. Her other Canadian festival performances include Toronto (Luminato and Downtown), Ottawa (Jazz and Blues), Vancouver, Victoria, Quebec, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Fredericton. Her international festival appearances include two visits to The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, several European festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival as well as the Ginza International Jazz Festival in Japan at Kabuki-za.

On February 8, 2008, Yanofsky's 14th birthday, she kicked off a multi-city tour with Marvin Hamlisch at Carnegie Hall. In November 2008, she made her Canadian orchestral debut with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and has gone on to sing with the Vancouver Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic.

With Herbie Hancock on piano, Yanofsky sang "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" at the 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year awards honouring Barbra Streisand.

On April 13, 2013, Yanofsky and Stevie Wonder sang "Let the Good Times Roll" at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event honoured the joint 80th birthday celebration of Quincy Jones and Sir Michael Caine.

The Little Secret Tour began on June 21, 2013, promoting Yanofsky's album, Little Secret.[13]

Charitable works[edit]

In 2008, Yanofsky received the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award from the Quebec Chapter of The Association of Fundraising Professionals. In the course of her career, she has helped raise over $10 million for local, national and international charities. She is currently associated with The Montreal Children's Hospital, The Children's Wish Foundation, and MusiCounts. She has also lent her voice to oneXone, Leave Out Violence Everywhere (L.O.V.E.), and ORT.[14]

Yanofsky sang a solo part in the remake of K'naan's song "Wavin' Flag" performed by Young Artists for Haiti. This song was certified platinum for digital downloads in April 2010,[8] and all of the proceeds from the single went to charities.

In October 2010, Yanofsky was awarded the first ever Allan Slaight Award by Canada's Walk of Fame.[15] This award is presented annually to a young Canadian who is making a positive impact in the fields of music, film, literature, visual or performing arts, sports, innovation or philanthropy.[15]



Year Details Peak chart positions[16] Certifications
(sales threshold)

2008 Ella...Of Thee I Swing 8
2010 Nikki
  • Released:
    CA: April 20, 2010
    US: May 4, 2010
    UK: May 8, 2011[21]
  • Label: A440/Decca
  • Format: CD, digital download
5 1 29 105 1 3
2014 Little Secret
  • Released:
    CA: May 6, 2014
    US: October 7, 2014
  • Label: A440/Decca
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download
4 132 28 13
2020 Turn Down the Sound 77
2022 Nikki by Starlight
  • Released:
    October 21, 2022
  • Label: MNRK
  • Format: CD, digital download, streaming
"—" denotes releases that did not chart



Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album








2008 "Lullaby of Birdland" 23 Ella...Of Thee I Swing
2009 "I Got Rhythm" 3 9 Nikki
2010 "I Believe" 1 9 40 1 1
  • MC: 3× Platinum[32]
Non-album single
"Cool My Heels" 1 Nikki
"Wavin' Flag" (Charity single) 1 1 89 Non-album single
2014 "Something New" 30 96 Little Secret
"Necessary Evil" 52 11 23
2016 "Young Love" Solid Gold
"Miss You When I'm Drunk"[33]
2018 "Big Mouth"[34] [A] 40 Non-album singles
"Mistletoe" 4
2019 "Blowin' Smoke"
2020 "Forget" Turn Down the Sound
2022 "Comes Love" 4 Nikki by Starlight
"I Get a Kick Out of You"
"Crazy He Calls Me"
(featuring Greg Phillinganes)
"Quiet Night of Stars (Corcovado)"
(featuring Nathan East)
"C'est Si Bon"
"West Coast Blues"
(featuring Greg Phillinganes)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart



Year Details Certifications
(sales threshold)
2010 Live in Montreal
  • Released: June 1, 2010
  • Label: A440/Decca
  • Format: DVD

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Presenter Award[citation needed] Result
2009 Juno Awards New Artist of the Year Nominated
Vocal Jazz Album of the Year: Ella... of Thee I Swing Nominated
Canadian Independent Music Awards Favourite Jazz Artist or Group Won
2010 Félix Awards English Album of the Year: Nikki Nominated
Most Famous Quebec Artist Outside Quebec Nominated
Canada's Walk of Fame Allan Slaight Award Won
2011 Juno Awards Vocal Jazz Album of the Year: Nikki Nominated
Canadian Radio Music Awards Adult Contemporary Song of the Year: "I Believe" Nominated
WAVE Smooth Jazz Awards Female Vocalist of the Year Won
Album of the Year: Nikki Nominated
Song of the Year: "Try, Try, Try" Nominated
2015 Juno Awards Pop Album of the Year: Little Secret Nominated


  1. ^ "Big Mouth" did not enter the Billboard Canada Hot 100, but peaked at number forty on the Canada AC chart, which acts as an extension to the Hot 100.[35]


  1. ^ a b "Yanofsky making inroads into U.S. market". Canadian Jewish News. March 28, 2011. Archived from the original on March 28, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Olympics: Nikki Yanofsky inspires hometown pride". The Montreal Gazette. April 14, 2010. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  3. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky: la métamorphose de l'enfant prodige | Régis Tremblay, collaboration spéciale | Sur scène". Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  4. ^ "Jazz baby". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Chisling, Matthew. "Nikki Yanofsky: Biography". allmusic. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  6. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky". Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  7. ^ "Artist: Nikki Yanofsky". – Independent Music Awards. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum – April 2010". Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  9. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky Dreams in Pink with Ganz | WKN: Webkinz Newz". Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  10. ^ "Solid Gold – EP by Nikki Yanofsky on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  11. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky on Instagram: "Aretha, The Queen of Soul got a tribute in my new video, even before her passing. Very happy it's in there. Can't wait for everyone to see…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved August 23, 2018.[self-published]
  12. ^ "Big Mouth – Single". iTunes.
  13. ^ "Keep Your Eye on Nikki Yanofsky in 2014 – Culture –". January 2, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  14. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky Bio" Accessed 2016-07-25.
  15. ^ a b "Nikki Yanofsky Honoured with First-Ever Allan Slaight Award From Canada's Walk of Fame". Canada's Walk of Fame. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original on November 5, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  16. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky". Billboard. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  17. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky Chart History: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  18. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky Shines On PBS, 'nikki Yanofsky: Live In Montreal' Dvd Out June 1, 2010 @ – Songs from 49 Top 20 & Top 40 Music Charts from 30 Countries". Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  19. ^ "Discographie Nikki Yanofsky". Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  20. ^ a b "Discographie Nikki Yanofsky". Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  21. ^ Culshaw, Peter (February 18, 2011). "Nikki Yanofsky: a lifetime of jazz to come". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  22. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Nikki Yanofsky – Nikki". Music Canada.
  23. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Nikki Yanofsky – Little Secrets". Music Canada.
  24. ^ "Nikki Y has her new EP Out Today". BroadayWorld. September 23, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  25. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky". Billboard. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  26. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky Chart History: Canada AC". Billboard. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  27. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky Chart History: Canada Hot AC". Billboard. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  28. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky Chart History: Hot Canadian Digital Song Sales". Billboard. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  29. ^ "Cool My Heels by Nikki Yanofsky - Song Analysis | ITunes Music Chart Archive". July 18, 2011. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  30. ^ "I Got Rhythm by Nikki Yanofsky - Song Analysis | ITunes Music Chart Archive". March 6, 2012. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  31. ^ "Chart Log UK: Rachael Yamagata - Malik Yusef". Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  32. ^ "Gold/Platinum – Music Canada". Music Canada. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  33. ^ "Nikki Y Sings Everyone's Truth in Her New Single".
  34. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky Sampler". Groundwork Artist Management. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  35. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky – Chart History: Canada AC". Billboard. Eone Music. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  36. ^ "Canadian DVD certifications – Nikki Yanofsky – Live in Montreal". Music Canada.

External links[edit]

Media related to Nikki Yanofsky at Wikimedia Commons