Some people get famous through conventional measures: such as signing record deals, releasing and hustling their own albums, or releasing sex tapes, just you know, the usual. But some people upload a video or two to YouTube and sky rocket to fame instantly.
For every 3 millions stupid YouTube videos of "cute animals" doing "funny things" there is one legitimately talented person hiding out there amongst all the "puppy walks into a glass wall" videos. For every "Keyboard Cat" there is a Justin Bieber.
Those people are what I like to call, YouTube Stars turned Real Stars.
Justin Bieber: Before Justin Bieber was dating Disney starlets, crashing weddings, and causing little girls to experience their first anxiety attacks, Justin was just another young kid with a digital camera and a YouTube account. 12 year old Justin uploaded many videos of himself singing covers of Ne-Yo, Usher, and Brian McKnight songs, combined with his affinity for fitted caps, jerseys, and premature swag, he had the makings of pop music gold. One day, Scooter Braun, his current manager, and Usher saw the videos and the rest is history. Bieber told Hollysoop, "Yes, I started off on the internet...Three years ago I was just watching Usher on the internet. it's a crazy experience."
Maria Aragon: In February of 2011 a little 10-year-old girl from Canada recorded a video of herself playing the piano and singing a genuinely awesome cover of Lady Gaga's song "Born This Way." Gaga saw it and tweeted the video and within a week the little girl's video had over 11 million views. In March, Maria performed the song sitting on Gaga's lap during her Toronto stop of The Monster Ball Tour. But it doesn't end there, Maria got a commercial gig, singing and starring in a HTC phone commercial. She now has a record deal in the Philippines. Gaga tweeted about the girl, "Can't stop crying watching this. This is why I make music. She is the future."
Rebecca Black: While you may not call her a YouTube star, more like a YouTube fail, you can't deny that Rebecca Black is kind of famous now. Thanks to a poorly produced YouTube music video called "Friday" and a shady production company/teen trafficking ring called "Ark Music Factory" Rebecca Black is now being invited to the VMA's, the Teen Choice Awards and has actual music videos and an entire album now. Rebecca told Hollyscoop that she didn't expect the video for "Friday" to become so popular, she mostly did it on a whim, "This was just one of those things where we wanted to get the experience and maybe put it on my resume." Say what you want about Rebecca black, but she's the only person who legitimately got really famous for being really bad at something.
Greyson Chance: Ok, I love this little kid. He has the potential to be the next J. Bieber if only he dressed like more of a gangster. Greyson performed his acoustic cover of Lady Gaga's song "Paparazzi" in April of 2010 for his sixth-grade talent show. A couple weeks after uploading the performance to YouTube, Ellen Degeneres found the video, invited him to perform on her show and signed him as her first ever artist signed to her new music label, "eleveneleven." Later that day, every website and celebrity twitterer was blowing up about this kid. I'm pretty sure he crashed the internet. That's probably not true but whatever. On August 2, 2011 he released his first studio album, "Hold On 'til the Night," and went on tour with Miranda Cosgrove.
Soulja Boy: Before Soulja Boy had a glossy music video for his song, "Crank That" he self distributed the song and a really crappy YouTube video to go along with it. Soulja Boy uploaded the YouTube video of him and a bunch of friends wearing matching "Soulja Boy" t-shirts and doing the "Crank That" dance in an empty swimming pool. The next thing he knew everyone was talking about this "superman dat hoe" song and dance. He uploaded the song himself in March of 2007 and a couple months later he was signing a contract with Interscope records.