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Nikki Yanofsky

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Nikki Yanofsky
Nikki Yanofski Vienna 2010.JPG
Yanofsky performing in Vienna in 2010.
Background information
Birth name Nicole Yanofsky
Born (1994-02-08) February 8, 1994 (age 22)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Jazz, Pop, Soul
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2006–present
Labels A440 Entertainment, Universal Canada

Nicole "Nikki" Yanofsky (born February 8, 1994) is a Canadian jazz-pop singer-songwriter from Montreal, Quebec. She is best known as the vocalist of the Canadian CTV theme song for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, "I Believe".

She performed Canada’s National Anthem at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. She also performed as part of the Closing Ceremonies and the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony.

Yanofsky had four releases; Ella...Of Thee I Swing (Live DVD/CD - 2008), Nikki (CD - 2010), Live in Montreal (Live DVD - 2010) and Little Secret (CD - 2014).

September 2013 saw the release of her single and video "Something New" executive-produced by Quincy Jones.


Yanofsky recorded the Ella Fitzgerald classic "Airmail 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 ever to record for Verve.[1] Yanofsky then recorded "Gotta Go My Own Way" in English and French for Walt Disney’s smash hit High School Musical 2. The track was included as bonus material on the worldwide release of the Blu-ray, DVD and Soundtrack CD. Following that, she collaborated with Herbie Hancock and (from The Black Eyed Peas) to record 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.[2]

In September 2008, Yanofsky released her first full-length album, a live CD/DVD concert package entitled Ella... Of Thee I Swing. Supported by her production company, A440 Entertainment and distributed in Canada and Japan by Universal Music, It earned her 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.[3]

Songwriters Stephan Moccio and Alan Frew chose Yanofsky to sing CTV’s broadcast theme for the 2010 Winter Olympics, "I Believe.” "I Believe" 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.[4]

Yanofsky recorded her first studio album, Nikki, with Phil Ramone.[1] Along with the album-release of "I Believe", it includes some of Yanofsky’s first original works—writing in collaboration with Jesse Harris (of Norah Jones fame) as well as fellow Canadian songwriters Ron Sexsmith and Feist. It was released in April 2010 by Decca Records and was supported by an international tour. Nikki earned a Juno nomination for "Vocal Jazz Album of the Year" and won Nikki the WAVE Smooth Jazz Award for "Female Vocalist of the Year."

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

In early 2013, Yanofsky signed with Quincy Jones Productions, Inc. for worldwide management representation.

Yanofsky's second studio album was released in Canada in May 2014. It was produced by Rob Kleiner. Yanofsky announced on YouTube that the album will be called "Little Secret." The album's Executive Producers are Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton.

Yanofsky has also recorded a song for Webkinz as one of their Pet of the Month videos.


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.[1] 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 where she played to a full house at Tokyo's historic Kabuki-za.

On February 8, 2008 – her fourteenth birthday – Nikki kicked off a multi-city tour with famed composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch at Carnegie Hall. In November 2008 she made her Canadian orchestral debut with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and since then has gone on to sing with the Vancouver Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic.

With Herbie Hancock on piano, Nikki sang "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" at the 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year awards honouring Barbra Streisand. MusiCares is the foundation arm of, the organization responsible for The Grammy Awards.

On April 13, 2013, Nikki and Stevie Wonder sang together "Let The Good Times Roll" at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The star-studded event was a night honouring the joint 80th birthday celebration of Quincy Jones and Sir Michael Caine with all proceeds going to the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Other stars performing that evening included Bono, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Jennifer Hudson, Patti Austin, James Ingram, Siedah Garrett, BeBe Winans,, Jordin Sparks, and Snoop Lion.

The Little Secret Tour began on June 21, 2013 promoting Nikki's newest album Little Secret.[5]

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.

Nikki sang a solo part on 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[4] and all of the proceeds from the single went to charities.

In October 2010, Nikki was awarded the first ever Allan Slaight Award by Canada's Walk of Fame.[6] 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.[6]

In June 2012, Yanofsky created the Nikki Yanofsky/Audio-Technica Scholarships at McGill University in Montreal. The funding was derived from an honorarium she had received for her performance at the 50th anniversary of Audio-Technica, a professional audio equipment company.

Personal life[edit]

Yanofsky was born and raised in a "close-knit Jewish family"[7] in Montreal, Quebec[8] Her parents are Elyssa (née Rosenthal) and Richard Yanofsky .[7][9] She graduated from St. George's School of Montreal.[8]




Year Album details Peak 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[12]
  • Label: A440/Decca
  • Format: CD, digital download
5 1[13] 9 29 105 1 3
2014 Little Secret
  • Released:
    CA: May 6, 2014
    US: October 7, 2014
  • Label: A440/Decca
  • Format: CD, digital download
3 139 28 13
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak Album
2010 "I Believe" 1 Nikki
"I Got Rhythm" 97[15]
"For Another Day" 13
"Cool My Heels" 1[16]
2014 "Something New" 96 Little Secret
"Necessary Evil" 57
"—" 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 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. ^ a b c Chisling, Matthew. "Nikki Yanofsky: Biography". allmusic. Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Nikki Yanofsky". Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Artist: Nikki Yanofsky". - Independent Music Awards. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum – April 2010". Retrieved October 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ 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. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ a b "Olympics: Nikki Yanofsky inspires hometown pride". The Montreal Gazette. April 14, 2010. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Nikki+Yanofsky discography
  11. ^ a b Nikki+Yanofsky discography
  12. ^ Culshaw, Peter (February 18, 2011). "Nikki Yanofsky: a lifetime of jazz to come". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  13. ^ "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. 
  14. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Nikki Yanofsky – Nikki". Music Canada. 
  15. ^ "I Got Rhythm by Nikki Yanofsky – Song Analysis | iTunes Music Chart Archive". Retrieved October 6, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Cool My Heels by Nikki Yanofsky – Song Analysis | iTunes Music Chart Archive". April 7, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Canadian DVD certifications – Nikki Yanofsky – Live in Montreal". Music Canada. 

External links[edit]