Having already begun composing instrumental pieces on piano, Amos won a full scholarship to the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, the youngest person ever to have been admitted, at age five. She was expelled at age eleven for, in her own words, insisting on playing by ear and because of her interest in popular rock music. Amos originally served as the lead singer of short-lived 1980s pop groupY Kant Tori Read before achieving her breakthrough as a solo artist at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s. She has since become one of the world's most prominent female singer-songwriters whose songs have discussed a broad range of topics including sexuality, feminism, politics and religion. She was also noteworthy early in her solo career as one of the few alternative rockperformers to use a piano as her primary instrument. Some of her charting singles include "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "God", "Cornflake Girl", "Caught a Lite Sneeze", "Professional Widow", "Spark", "1000 Oceans", "Flavor", and "A Sorta Fairytale", her most commercially successful single in the U.S. to date. Amos has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide. She has been nominated for and won several awards in different genres, ranging from MTV VMAs to classical music with an Echo award in 2012.