For these kids, YouTube was where it all began
Anyone can upload an original song or cover to YouTube and hope that people take notice. For many famous kind singers, YouTube was the launching pad that helped them take their passion for music and turn it into a professional career.
Some of the biggest YouTube music sensations weren’t even old enough to drive when they were discovered, let alone steer their own new careers in the spotlight. Still, many of them go on to work with experienced managers, producers and other well-known artists, sign recording contracts, release debut singles and albums, and become bigger than they ever thought was possible.
Check out some of the kids, teens and young adults in the list below who now have thriving careers in music thanks to the viral power of YouTube.
1 –> Sophia Grace
Sophia Grace (and her cousin Rosie) rose to fame after a YouTube video of her rapping to Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass went viral. The girls quickly became a favorite of Ellen DeGeneres, and both have starred on her talk show several times since their first appearance. In January of 2015, Sophia Grace put out her very own new rap single, called Best Friends.
2 –> Justin Bieber
As huge as he is right how, it’s kind of unbelievable to think that Justin Bieber got his start on YouTube. In 2007 at just age 12, Bieber was discovered by his manager by accident when he was searching for a different artist. And the rest, as you must already know, is history. Justin Bieber is among the biggest and most successful pop stars of all time.
3 –> Shawn Mendes
Another Canadian-born pop singer, Shawn Mendes, started out by participating in singing contests on YouTube and wowing his huge fan following on the now defunct Vine app. Today, he’s got several chart-topping pop hits and has almost 18 million YouTube subscribers.
4 –> Rebecca Black
In 2011, Rebecca Black and her music video Friday went viral for all the wrong reasons. Despite being recognized for having one of the worst songs and music videos ever, her viral YouTube fame actually worked in her favor. She has since started her own label, released several other music videos that are far better than Friday and joined YouTube network Maker Studios.
5 –> Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em
Some of you may remember hearing Soulja Boy’s hit song Crank That all over the place when it became popular in 2007. But years before that, he started out by posting his music on SoundClick, MySpace and eventually YouTube as well. After self-releasing his own album in 2007 and experiencing all the success with Crank That, Soulja Boy was able to score a record deal.
6 –> Greyson Chance
Greyson Chance is another talented kid star who was invited to be a guest on Ellen DeGeneres’ show after a video of him singing and performing Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi went viral on YouTube. His debut album Hold On ‘Til the Night was released in 2011 followed by his second EP in 2016.
7 –> Austin Mahone
Like Justin Bieber, Austin Mahone is another young teen pop sensation who was able to use YouTube as a platform for getting his talent out there. He began uploading videos in 2010 and growing a strong following over the following couple of years, even releasing his music himself on iTunes. In 2012, he signed a recording deal and went on to open for Taylor Swift in 2013.
8 –> Cody Simpson
Cody Simpson an Australian singer, musician and dancer who got started filming himself covering pop songs and uploading them to YouTube. It wasn’t long before he was discovered on the video sharing site by a Grammy-nominated record producer in 2010. In addition to his thriving music career, he has also appeared as a guest and actor on several TV shows.
9 –> Jenna Rose
After uploading her own single called My Jeans on YouTube when she was just 12 years old, Jenna became one of those very rare instant stars from one viral video that amassed millions of views. She hasn’t signed to any labels, but she still regularly uploads music videos to her YouTube channel. She’s also appeared as an actor in several TV shows and films since My Jeans went viral in 2010.
10 –> Becky G
Becky G brings some hip-hop to the music scene, and got her start on YouTube in 2011 for posting remixed versions of popular songs with some of her own lyrics added. In the same year, she was discovered by someone in the industry and signed to a label. Since her discovery, she’s worked alongside many prominent musicians including Chery Lloyd, Cody Simpson, Kesha, Pitbull and others.