Top Ten: Road To Fame

We know actors and musicians best for their big movies or hit songs, but the road to fame is sometimes the most interesting part! So we’ve compiled a list of ten interesting stories about the road to fame.

1. Taylor Swift

We all know Taylor Swift for her music but did you know she first brought demo tapes to Nashville at the age of 11?! The young Swift worked tirelessly to promote her music and her family was supportive, moving to Nashville when she was 14. Scott Borchetta discovered and signed her. She then released her first self-titled album, which resulted in the chart-topping single “Tim McGraw” and music video and stayed on the top charts for 30 consecutive weeks.

2. Justin Bieber

At the young age of 23, Justin Bieber has gained worldwide fame with such songs as “Sorry,” which also has an astounding 2.79 billion views on YouTube. But Bieber has one of the most interesting paths to fame. Showing an early musical ability his mother fostered Justin’s musical endeavors by putting him in a talent show at age 12. He put the video of his performance on YouTube, sparking the career of one of the first YouTube sensations. Showcasing his talent online earned him an audience with Usher who went on to sign Justin Bieber and release a platinum first album.

3. Drake

Drake, the Canadian-born Grammy-winning hip-hop sensation known for his high profile relationships and highly anticipated music videos had an interesting start. Raised half Jewish in an affluent Jewish neighborhood in Toronto, Drake came from a musical family with his father playing drums for Jerry Lee Lewis.  Drake played Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi: The Next Generation for many years before signing to Lil Wayne’s record label Young Money Entertainment. 

4. Emma Watson

Actor, model, and (yes) yoga instructor, Emma Watson known best for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise, had an unusual upbringing. The British actor was actually born in Paris to two English lawyers. She lived in Paris until she was five before returning to England to live with her mother. Wanting to be an actor since childhood she trained at a part-time theater school and performed in several productions at the age of 10, before landing a role in Harry Potter.

5. George Clooney

Synonymous with celebrity, George Clooney didn’t originally pursue acting. This is surprising considering he comes from an entertainment family, with Clooney’s father being a broadcast journalist and his aunt is Rosemary Clooney, a famous singer and actress. At first, Clooney tried to play baseball for the Cincinnati Reds, but (luckily for fans) he wasn’t recruited and moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting.

6. Channing Tatum

Before achieving mainstream success as an actor Channing Tatum held various odd jobs. Naturally athletic, Tatum played many sports growing up in Alabama, later attending Glenville State College on a football scholarship. He dropped out of college and worked a variety of jobs, including stripping! It was this time that allegedly inspired some of the breakthrough hit Magic Mike.

7. Adam Levine

What was the Grammy-award winning singer and songwriter up to before hitting it big with Maroon 5 and The Voice? Born in Los Angeles, Levine released his first album during high school with the band Kara’s Flowers. The band was featured on Beverly Hills 90210. During college, Levine was heavily involved in the R&B and hip-hop scene of Long Island, New York. Adam Levine returned to Los Angeles and, with former Kara’s Flowers members, formed Maroon 5.

8. Beyonce

Before becoming a world superstar, Beyonce Knowles had humble beginnings. She was born in Houston, Texas. Her first performances came as a child when she took dance classes and performed. She states these early dance classes helped her overcome her inherent shyness, and others began to notice her talent quickly. She soon entered and won talent competitions, and by age nine earned a spot on the girl group Girl’s Tyme. Her time with the girl group was the perfect practice for Destiny’s Child which was signed by Columbia Records in 1997.

9. Adele

Adele is a singing icon. Before she was hailed as one of the most beloved singers of our generation, Adele would listen to her favorite musicians and dream of stardom. Adele discovered music at an early age and attended the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Theater. During school, she posted music on her MySpace page and released a demo for a class project.

10. Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In junior high school, he joined the school band on the advice of his grandmother. During this time, Pharrell learned to read music and performed on the drum line. Williams and longtime friend Chad Hugo formed a band called Neptunes where they made beats. The duo sold their first song while still in high school, and the two worked with Michael Jackson producer Teddy Riley to gain ground as musicians in the hip-hop scene.