By Emma Simonoff

I don’t have any older siblings and my parents know everything there is to know about music up until like 1985. When I got an iPod for my birthday, the only music I had on it was The Beatles and the soundtracks of “Hairspray” and “Shrek the Musical.” Oh, and also Kidz Bop, which in many ways is the spiritual predecessor of “Glee.”

I played the “Glee” version of “Hate On Me” at my Bat Mitzvah party. I spent most of my iTunes money on “Glee” covers. If you play a song from before the year 2014, there is an 85-percent chance I know it from “Glee.” And the songs I don’t know from “Glee,” I know because of “Glee.”

“Forget You” by CeeLo Green, “Blame It (On The Alcohol)” by Jamie Foxx, “Tongue Tied” by Grouplove. Songs new and old, from Amy Winehouse to Fleetwood Mac to My Chemical Romance — I owe it all to “Glee.”

In middle school, I was a huge Imagine Dragons fan. I heard Radioactive before it was popular, and I was hooked. And how did I find it? It was recommended to me on YouTube because I watched the “Glee” version of It’s Time by Imagine Dragons 1,000 times. 

From then on, my foire into the alternative rock world and beyond began. I found songs and bands by clicking on the related videos on YouTube and listening to their radio stations on Pandora. Imagine Dragons led me to Paramore and the Arctic Monkeys, which led me to The Black Keys and Jack White, then to Arcade Fire. Because of this butterfly effect, the concerts I went to, Tumblr blogs I followed, clothes I wore and friendships I made were all because of Glee.

However, I do not identify as a “Gleek.” Despite the fact I am a Jewish brunette who grew up doing musical theater and once had bangs, I do not align myself with Rachel Berry. I know that “Glee” was in many ways extremely problematic and also seemingly cursed, but I love it for what it is. And how it probably, definitely had at least some of an actually really huge role in making me who I am today.