Lindsay Ell is a magician. Given time, space and absolute creative freedom to perform her single "Criminal," the next Taste of Country RISER delivered a one-woman masterpiece unlike anything you've ever seen.

Keep this in mind as you watch this music video of Ell performing "Criminal": she did it all in a single take. It was "live to tape." The layered guitars, beat-boxing, soloing and powerful vocals were all delivered in real-time. Half the fun of watching this performance is trying to figure out how the heck she did it!

"Criminal" is the oldest song on Ell's critically-acclaimed The Project album. She wrote it years before she started working with Sugarland singer and producer Kristian Bush, but knew immediately that it was special. That the song held on through a total professional and personal transformation speaks to the impact it has had on fans. The process of writing and recording The Project led to a total cleanse.

"I'll say over the past couple of years I’ve gotten good at writing from my own life and writing from my own experiences, because I feel as an artist I can sing them easier, and fans believe me more when they know it’s real," she says. "I connect with myself better as an artist knowing that, 'Alright, this is something that I’ve lived. This is something that I’ve gone through and I’m going to tell you about it.' And hopefully you can listen to it and be like, ‘I know what that feels like, too.’”

Watch Lindsay Cover Michael Jackson!

Songs on both The Project and Ell's one-of-a-kind cover of John Mayer's Continuum album fit this description. The latter was a homework assignment given to her by Bush nearly two years ago, but fans demanded she released it. It's a vulnerable showcase of talent and emotion. She may not have written these songs, but memories of love, heartbreak and inspiration sweat through each one.

"I feel like going through heartbreak in my personal life, I am a lot more fearless about what I do musically," she insists.

Ell is the second member of the 2018 class of Taste of Country RISERS, following Devin Dawson who performed an equally stunning version of his single "Asking for a Friend" this spring. Past RISERS include Brett Young, Kalie Shorr, Runaway June and Aubrie Sellers.

Look for Ell on the road with Sugarland through September, and then with Keith Urban in Canada this fall.

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