Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Is YouTube the new American Idol?

Watching YouTube videos of up-and-coming artists, it amazes me that there is so much raw talent out there that you don't see auditioning for talent shows like American Idol, the Voice or the X Factor.  If you're like me, someone who owns a computer and is addicted to viral YouTube videos, you know that the more hits and likes a video receives, the more chances it might get noticed by the powers-that-be, i.e. record labels or influential celebrities.  This instant attention can take you from internet celebdom to overnight celebrity status without the help of Randy Jackson, Adam Levine or Simon Cowell. 

But who needs judges on YouTube anyway, when you have the likes of Usher, Ellen and Oprah to help make your dreams come true? There have been many successful, aspiring singers who made it big after debuting on YouTube.  Here's a list of a few:

1.  Justin Bieber 

The Biebs playing infront of the Avon Theatre in Stratford, ON. 

This Canadian YouTube singer was discovered by Usher and now makes millions of young girls and boys swoon.  Watch out Selena Gomez. 

2.  Charice

Charice on the Ellen DeGeneres show in 2007. 
After showcasing her YouTube video on the Ellen DeGeneres show, then later appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show, Charice was introduced to record producing legend, David Foster.  With the help of Foster, Charice was given the opportunity to rise from her YouTube channel onto the world stage.  At the age of 16, she sang with her idol Celine Dion at Madison Square Garden in New York and has guest-starred on the Emmy-winning TV show, Glee. 

3.  SouljaBoy Tell'Em

SouljaBoy Tell'Em "Crank That" music video.
Even though I’ve never been a big fan of this catchy-tune rapper, his hit single “Crank That” earned him a Grammy nomination and had everyone, including my own mother, doing the iconic Superman dance.  SouljaBoy Tell’Em was also discovered through his YouTube channel.      

4.  Greyson Chance

 Chance performing Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi."

Fifteen-year-old Greyson Chance was invited to appear on Ellen after the influential celeb watched a YouTube video of him performing Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" at his sixth grade music festival.  He is now signed to Ellen’s record label eleveneleven. 

5.  Arnel Pineda 

  Pineda singing a Journey cover of "Faithfully" with his band, the Zoo.
I found his discovery pretty amazing.  The band, Journey, was looking to replace their lead singer Steve Perry, who had no interest in touring or performing with the group at all.  Moving forward, the band members sought out talents through the Internet.  Lo and behold, YouTube lead them to Arnel Pineda in 1997, where he impressed them by singing cover songs with his then band, the Zoo.  Now with Pineda as their new lead singer, Journey is currently touring worldwide. 

Some of my favourite up-and-coming YouTube artists include: 

Christina Grimmie, who plays piano and sings covers by Katy Perry, Adele, Christina Aguilera and more.  Her rendition of Jason Mraz' "I won't give up" never ceases to amaze each time I watch it.  Grimmie also appears in a new X-Box Kinect commerical with Selena Gomez.  

Grimmie singing Jason Mraz' "I won't give up."
Maria Aragon, is a 12-year-old rising star who sang with Lady Gaga in concert after being discovered on YouTube by Ellen.  She is currently working on new music and establishing herself as a young artist.
Aragon performing with her idol Lady Gaga in concert. 
Jason Yang, a traditional and electronic violinist, who isn’t a singer, but is still a notable talent whose shared videos through YouTube.  He has toured worldwide and plays with different orchestras.   

Yang performing in his home studio on electric violin. 
Who do you consider a notable talent from YouTube?  Who’s got your vote?

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