10 YouTube Musicians Who Don’t Suck for Lana Del Rey + Rebecca Black’s Birthday
We can blame YouTube for Lana Del Rey and Rebecca Black, but we can also thank it for Greyson Chance and Sophia Grace and Rosie. Playlist time!
YouTube is both a wonderful thing and a terrible one. On the one hand, it allows aspiring artists of all sorts—filmmakers, musicians, animators, you name it—to realize their visions in ways never before made possible. On the other hand, though, it has sometimes creates monsters.
And you’d be surprised how frequently those two things overlap. Case in point: Lana Del Rey and Rebecca Black. Love them, hate them, or love to hate them, there can be no denying that in these two people we see exactly how strong YouTube can be. Would “Video Games” or (shudder) “Friday” have become hits without the almighty power of this video-sharing site? Almost certainly not. But at the same time, without it, we also probably never would have learned about, say, Greyson Chance or Sophia Grace and Rosie.
And guess what? It just so happens that today is both Lana Del Rey’s and Rebecca Black’s birthday. So in honor of the occasion, we’ve rounded up 10 music stars who got their start via YouTube. Don’t worry: Most of them won’t make your ears bleed!
1. Greyson Chance
When 12-year-old Greyson Chance’s impressive cover of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” first appeared on YouTube, no one had any idea that it would become a massive viral hit. Then Greyson’s brother, Tanner, sent the video to Ellen DeGeneres, who invited Greyson onto The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and well… we all know where that ended up! Perhaps the most impressive thing about the now 14-year-old Greyson is that he’s got only the barest amount of piano training and no vocal training whatsoever. I know people who have extensive training in both who don’t sound as good as this kid does!
2. Charice Pempengco
Long before her Glee days, Charice Pempengco was using her voice to help support her family. Growing up with a single mother in the Philippines, she began entering singing contests at the age of seven to bring some extra money into the house. She estimates that over the years, she has participated in almost a hundred such contests, including a stint on the American Idol-esque talent show Little Big Star. It was after one of her local fans began posting videos of her performances on YouTube, however, that she catapulted to stardom—with, like Greyson Chance, a little help from Ellen along the way. Take a listen to her big hit, “Pyramid.”
3. Jayme Dee
20-year-old Jayme Dee wasn’t even on our radar until fairly recently, but boy are we glad that the Hunger Games soundtrack, Songs from District 12 and Beyond, put her there! After hearing her fantastic voice on her YouTube channel, bigwig music producer T-Bone Burnett contacted Jayme about recording a song for the album; the resulting track is “Rules,” which just so happens to be one of the album’s best tunes. Be sure to check out our interview with Jayme, who is just as lovely as she is talented!