5 Musicians Who Owe Their Popularity To YouTube

What do Justin Bieber, Lana Del Rey and Soulja Boy have in common?

Justin Biebers, Lana Del Rey and Soulja Boy rose to popularity through YouTube

All three musicians, who are now globally renowned, have YouTube to thank for their success and popularity.

YouTube has nurtured and supported a large number of rising artists and bands. The website has helped launch the careers of several pop stars such as Carly Rae Jepsen, Cody Simpson, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.  

Below are 5 musicians who owe everything to YouTube.

1. Justin Bieber

Before Justin Bieber skyrocketed to popularity, he regularly posted videos of R&B covers to YouTube. His videos were discovered by former So So Def marketing executive, Scooter Braun. Braun hunted down Bieber’s school and then contacted his mother. Following her approval, Bieber was flown to Atlanta to record demos. With Usher’s help, Bieber got an audition with the execs at Island Def Jam Music Group. Island Records then signed Bieber in 2008. What followed were multi-platinum albums and sold out concert arenas. Justin Bieber became a tween superstar and gained global recognition, all thanks to YouTube. 

2. Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey (a.k.a) Lizzie Grant is popular for her confounding personality in addition to her music. She owes her success and popularity to YouTube. Del Rey became an internet sensation after she uploaded a music video for the song “Video Games” to YouTube. The rising musician was invited to perform on Saturday Night Live following her Internet fame. Today, Del Rey has become a household name. She has even outsold artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Dead Mau5 and Linkin Park with her third studio album, “Ultraviolence”.

3. 5 Seconds of Summer

The band rose to popularity by posting videos of themselves, covering songs by renowned artists, to YouTube. One Direction noticed the band and invited them to be a part of their 2013 Take Me Home Worldwide Tour. After the success of their support acts, 5SOS signed with Capitol Records. The band’s eponymous album topped the Billboard 200, with first week sales of 259,000 copies.

4. Soulja Boy

In 2007, DeAndre Cortez Way (A.K.A Soulja Boy) recorded and published his signature dance song “Crank That” to YouTube. The song was later released as a single from his debut album on Interscope, “souljaboytellem.com.” The single topped the U.S Billboard Hot 100. It became a number-one hit in the U.S for seven non-consecutive weeks from September 2007. Soulja Boy was also nominated for a Grammy Award for the Best Rap Song with “Crack That”. He has released three studio albums, one independent album and is currently working on his fourth studio album, Blessed. 

5. Rebecca Black

Rebecca Black’s single “Friday” went viral on YouTube with over 90 million hits. People all over the world caught on to the “Friday” trend and produced parodies of the video. Although her single received worldwide criticism and a slew of bad reviews, Black shot to instant popularity. She appeared on major talk shows such as Good Morning America, The Tonight Show and On Air with Ryan Seacrest. She even appeared on Katy Perry’s music video for Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F). 

It is now an exciting time to be a musician. YouTube offers abundant opportunities for rising bands and artists to enter the doors of international stardom. If you have not already uploaded your music to YouTube yet, it is high time you did!

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Manasa Boggaram is a writer and has a strong passion for music, positive news and constructive journalism. When she is not researching story ideas or writing blog posts, she spends her time reading books, discovering new music and eating lots of street food.

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