For every Tila Tequila and Chris Crocker, who think they can sing just because they have millions of fans on YouTube and MySpace, there’s a small handful of really talented musicians waiting for their moment to shine — and hoping that the Internet will be their gateway to fame.
As it turns out, it’s possible to turn your online 15 minutes of fame into a bona fide career. As long as you’ve got the talent to back it up.
Here are a few natural talents who started small and have made it big, thanks in large part to the Internet and all its viral glory.
This young girl with a huge voice absolutely has Oprah to thank for her rise to fame, but the truth of the matter is that even Oprah wouldn’t have known about her if it she hadn’t seen Charice’s YouTube videos.
- Jonathan Coulton
When you write songs about Flickr and geek culture, you’re bound to find a loving and dedicated audience out there in the interwebs.
- Justin Bieber
Believe it or not, everyone’s favorite teen heartthrob didn’t rise to fame through Nickelodeon or Disney; rather, this polarizing talent caught the eye of music label big-wigs via his YouTube videos.
- OK Go
How do you know when OK Go releases new music? You hear about their crazy new viral music video from all your friends. When they’re not dancing on treadmills or creating mind-blowing Rube Goldberg machines, these indie musicians are crafting music that’s actually good.
- Susan Boyle
Sure, the main reason for Susan Boyle’s fame is Britain’s veritable star-maker “The X-Factor,” but the hugely talented songstress might never have made any impact on U.S. audiences if it hadn’t been for YouTube, which made videos of her performances widely available across the world.
- Simon Curtis
Good luck finding Simon Curtis’ music on the shelves of a retail store; this up-and-coming singer’s debut album, “8-bit Heart,” is only available — for free — on his website. The move has clearly paid off: Curtis has since been rumored to be writing tracks for big-name artists like Adam Lambert and Britney Spears.