For this installment, we're taking a look at the world of YouTube, and the success it may bring; specifically for singers, songwriters or musicians. To qualify for our top 10 pick, the artist must have been found, or garnered their attention on YouTube.
It's hard to deny Justin Bieber the number one spot, trust us... we tried; but the facts are the facts, and well... the fact is, Justin Bieber's $200 million dollar net worth is all thanks to YouTube and the deals he got thereafter. So regardless, if you like or hate him, the beebs got to where he is thanks to the YouTube community, so you only have yourselves to blame! In 2007, Justin's cover of Chris Browns, "With You" would go viral, allowing major recording artist, Usher, to catch wind of the Canadian born singer. His rise to fame comes accompanied with such feats as a certified 5-time platinum album, "My World", and his hit single "Baby" getting close to 1.3 billion views in 5 years time. His popularity is so vast, his fans have been dubbed "Beliebers." Yeah... tell me about it, I mean it's "Justin" credible... I could hardly "Belieb" it all myself.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
The American Singer, Dj, and Musician Duo, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, would grow to reach unexpected success after a chance, promotional photo shoot, Ryan would be hired for; shortly after they'd been collaborating musically. The first result being their "VS. EP", in 2009, which gained massive attention across the internet.After three years of the pair trying to get a record deal, they decided to publish independently, releasing their first full-length album, "The Heist", in 2012. The hit song and video "Thrift Shop", would rocket their album, "The Heist" to the top of the charts, coming in at #1 on the iTunes chart, and #2 on the Billboard charts. As of 2015, the band remains unsigned, yet phenomenally successful, worth roughly $18 million a piece.
Famous for his signature dance, and hit song "Crank That", American recording artist, Soulja Boy, got himself signed to Interscope Records after producer Mr. Collipark would discover his independently released video for "Crank That", which Soulja Boy self-published through his YouTube channel in 2007. His fans would rally enough that he would debut at the #1 spot on the Cranks Hot 100 chart. With an impressive estimated net worth of $23 million before the age of 18; Soulja Boy is one of youngest artist ever, to both perform, and produce a number 1 song. In 2010, Soulja would earn $7 million alone, earning him the place as on the of the highest earning hip-hop artist of that year.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Canadian Singer, Carly Rae Jepsen, first started to build a name for herself on the television show, Canadian Idol. She would place 3rd overall during the shows 5th season; shortly thereafter, she would independently release her debut album, Tug of War, which featured 2 songs with critical acclaim. It wasn't until the aspiring artist released her 2nd album, Kiss, which featured her single "Call Me Maybe", that her rise to fame would come to fruition after fellow Canadian, Justin Bieber, tweeted "Call Me Maybe" was one of the catchiest songs he had ever heard. The song would go on to become one of the best selling singles by any female artist in history, selling over 18 million copies.
Australian born singer-songwriter known as Cody Simpson, would be signed to Atlantic Records at the age of 12 after his YouTube videos were discovered by producer, Shawn Campbell, after his covers of Jason Mraz and Justin Timberlake songs went viral. He'd build quite a dedicated and loyal fan base, and at the age of 18, he would announce live, during one of his concerts, his choice to leave Atlantic Records. Cody would begin to release music independently through his own label, Coast House Records. His fans would remain loyal, and he is still one of the highest earning musicians who got their fame through YouTube.
The American A Capella group, Pentatonix, currently sits at a combined net worth our approximately $4 million. Briefly known when they won the third season of NBC's reality television series, The Sing-Off, earning them a record contract with Sony Music; they would be quickly forgotten and dropped from their label, Epic Records. At this point, they turned to YouTube, and rocketed into fame, with all of their albums gaining acclaimed success. The group would go on to win the "Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Capella" Grammy Award during the 57th Grammy awards in 2014, for their song "Daft Punk".
American Comedian, singer-songwriter, musician, and actor Bo Burnham, achieved his YouTube born fame through his satirical and political songs and humor. In 2009 he would release his first studio album through Comedy Central Records when he was just 18 years old. He would later be seen performing for The World Stands Up tour for Comedy Central; and touring regularly since. Due to his success on YouTube, he had signed on with the massively successful Comedy Central, and had even signed a deal to write music for a Judd Apatow film, bringing his net worth to roughly $3.5 million as of 2015.
In just a few short years, American dancer, composer, and most importantly, violinist, Lindsey Stirling would go from a state of anonymity to stardom with self given credit to YouTube for her rapid ascension. Even after her dismissal from America's Got Talent by judges Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan, this wouldn't stop Lindsey from getting the recognition she deserved. Independently releasing her first two albums, self-titled Lindsey Stirling and Shatter Me, both of which would become rapid best sellers, spreading her fan base like wildfire. She would eventually become one of the biggest independent musicians still currently making a living through YouTube.
American spoken-word poet, George Watsky, would get his start of fame after the release of his 2011 YouTube video, Pale Kid Raps Fast. George Watsky's poetic and rapid-fired lyrical style would garner him multiple appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show; giving him an overnight boom of attention. In 2012, Watsky would release his free mixtape, Nothing Like the First Time, which would correlate to his first ever, of many official tours, in which he would travel from North America and throughout Europe.
Rise to fame doesn't always happen overnight and this is certainly the case with American composer, and musician, Ronald Jenkees. Jenkees would begin his career under the name of "Big Cheez", releasing his first album, Straight Laced, in 2005. In 2006, he would begin posting videos on YouTube, where he would gradually gain popularity after he was featured by Bill Simmons on ESPN.com, even having him record the theme to his podcast. He would go on to make appearances in G4's Attack of the Show! and Fox Business Network. He is now able to make a modest living off of record sales and YouTube revenue, going on record stating "It's nowhere near platinum sales or anything, but hey, I'm independent and I make music for the fun of it." We don't know what we like more; the way Ronald covered Canon in D, or his motivational speeches found in most of his videos.