With the World Wide Web at our fingertips, it only makes sense to use this technology to our advantage when trying to make it big. That is exactly what these 5 superstar musicians did. With such incredible recognition, it may come as a surprise to hear that these mega musicians had modest beginnings posting their songs online and selling tracks for free. If only their starving artist selves could see where they are now. After reading this article, it will become clear just how wide a reach the internet has in today’s technologic society.
To make a list of musicians who have become famous from online popularity without including Justin Bieber would be incomplete. While there have been many YouTube stars before and after Bieber, it seems as though his claim to fame happened fast and in a big way. The first time he ever showed his now frequently photographed face online was when he posted a video of a performance at a local singing competition in Ontario. He then went on to create his own YouTube channel where he made covers of R&B songs and posted them for his followers. And the rest is history.
As his YouTube channel got more and more views, he got the attention of the talent manager Scooter Braun who tracked him down and flew him to Atlanta to record some demos. Bieber was then introduced to the R&B artist Usher who had to fight sign him since the young YouTube star had been sought after by several other music moguls like Justin Timberlake.
After being signed, Bieber made the most of his entry into the music world. He recorded an album, came out with a chart-topping single called “One Time”, and since then, has gone on to creating 3-multi platinum records as well as consistently selling out arenas all around the world. Not bad for a YouTube star if I do say so myself.
While Bieber’s self-made fame can be traced back to YouTube, Shawn Mendes used the social media app Vine as his platform from which to explode as a musically gifted teen heart throb. It was actually a cover of a Justin Bieber song that lit the spark for Mendes’s super stardom. He covered the song “As Long As You Love Me” and posted it on Vine one night. By the next day, the clip had already reached 10,000 likes. The attention this video got became a foreshadow for what was to come for Mendes.
With all the support he was getting from his millions of followers on Vine, Mendes decided to create his first EP called “Life of the Party” in 2014. It immediately hit the top of the iTunes charts and his new song “Stitches” has since done the same. He just recently went on a world tour with the queen of pop-country and breakup songs, Taylor Swift. You know you’ve made it when you can look over and see Taylor Swift standing on stage with you.
Apparently, it only takes 3. Tracks on YouTube that is, to become a mega musician with chart topping hits. The Weeknd, Abel Tesfaye, did just that in 2011 and quickly gained immense popularity for the songs he posted under anonymous usernames.
This mysterious artist has now been logged off YouTube for some time while on tour around the world promoting his newest album. After getting lots of attention for his song “Earned It” in the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey”, The Weeknd has been churning out hit after hit and it seems there is no slowing down in sight. With his song “Can’t Feel My Face” reaching the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, it seems the only direction is up for this talented YouTube superstar.
Remember Myspace? While this social media platform might seem antiquated with all the trendy apps we have now, it is actually where Adele first got noticed. Back in 2006, when Adele was in high school, her friend posted a video of her singing on Myspace. The folks at XL Recordings got wind of this video and became enamored by the vocal powerhouse after just one listen. Adele was then offered a recording contract and joined the XL Recordings family which included well established bands like The White Stripes, M.I.A, and Vampire Weekend.
After getting signed to this record label, Adele’s career immediately took off. Her first album “19” became a huge success going 4 times platinum in the UK and double platinum in the United States. She earned many titles at the Grammys that year including Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. And if that wasn’t amazing enough, her next album “21” topped it all. She earned 6 Grammy awards for this album which went platinum a whopping 16 times! She was even able to score an Academy Award for the James Bond soundtrack song “Skyfall”.
Panic! at the Disco
The story of this band confirms the idea that it pays to put yourself out there. After trying and failing to attract attention by posting demos on the site PureVolume, they decided to take a shot in the dark and message a song link to Pete Wentz, who is the bassist of Fall Out Boy. After all, the worst he could say is no. As it turns out, Wentz actually did give their demo a listen and fell in love with the young band’s sound, so much so that he immediately drove to Las Vegas to hear them in person.
After meeting these talented high schoolers, Wentz decided to take a leap of faith and sign them to his record label, Decaydance. Looking back, there is no doubt he is glad he made that decision considering the fact that Panic! at the Disco’s first album got to the 13th spot on the Billboard Top 200 charts and sold over 2 million copies worldwide. Not too bad for a band that got signed to a label before ever giving a live performance.
If there is one thing to take away from the stories of these immensely talented musicians who made it big through the click of a button, it’s to make use of your resources. With so many amazingly talented musicians begging for the spotlight, it can be hard to break away from the crowd. The best way to stand out and get your face noticed is by showing your face on as many online platforms as possible. Hopefully one day, the right person will see it, and another YouTube star turned Superstar can be added to this list.