Some celebrities started their careers on reality competitions, and others got their big breaks thanks to YouTube. While those two methods of gaining success aren’t that out of the ordinary nowadays, it’s still pretty darn rare for an already established star to take notice of you and eventually catapult you to stardom. But while it’s definitely rare, that doesn’t mean it’s never happened.
Picture this: you’re sitting at home one day and suddenly notice your phone blowing up with tweets. You inspect WTF is happening, and soon realize that Louis Tomlinson of One Direction took notice of your band and tweeted one of your covers to his millions of followers. Sound like a fanfiction? Well, it’s not; it’s the story of how 5 Seconds of Summer first started to becoming successful in the music industry. Just like LT & 5SOS’ ~magical~ connection, a few more of your faves have similar stories on how they were discovered by another star.
5 Seconds of Summer
Discovered By: Louis Tomlinson & Niall Horan
When Luke, Calum, Ashton, and Michael first started uploading cover videos to YouTube from her homes in Sydney, Australia, they never expected one of the biggest celebrities in the world to stumble upon them. But low and behold, one day Louis of One Direction decided to send a tweet that would change their lives forever.
"Been a fan of this band for a while, everyone get behind them," the singer wrote in 2012 along with a link to one of their YT vids. A few weeks later, Niall Horan also got in on the action, promoting the band's single "Out of My Limit" on his own account."
From there, the 5SOS guys were asked to join 1D's Take Me Home Tour and they quickly gained IMMENSE amounts of success worldwide.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Discovered By: Justin Bieber
CRJ's rise to stardom is #goals like no other. "Call me maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen is possibly the catchiest song I've ever heard lol," JB tweeted after hearing the tune on Canadian radio when he was home for Christmas. From there, The Biebs recorded one of the most epic lip-syncing videos of all time to the track and basically begged his manager Scooter Braun to sign her.
He's never jumped out and promoted an artist like this before," Scooter told Rolling Stone in 2012. From there, Carly was flown out to California to get in the studio with Justin, and eventually recorded a duet with him that'd end up on her album.
Discovered By: Justin Bieber
Madison's story of success is similar to that of 5SOS' and Carly's. On a random day in July 2012, JB stumbled upon the then-13-year-old singing a cover of Etta James' "At Last." He was so impressed by her vocal ability that he shared the video with his millions of followers on Twitter. A few hours later, Madison was trending worldwide on the site.
Justin was clearly SUPER impressed with the NY-born crooner because he personally signed her to Island Records in 2013 and helped her get managed by Scooter Braun.
Discovered By: Usher
Sure, JB helped put people like Madison Beer and Carly Rae Jepsen on the map, but he himself also owes his fame to another star. Although Scooter Braun first found Justin singing on YouTube, it was Usher who took notice of his talent after the "Company" crooner sang for him in Atlanta.
A few weeks later, Justin was signed to the R&B veteran's media group and got a record label with L.A Reid's Island Records. Next thing you know, "One Time" was released and JB completely exploded all over the world.
Discovered By: Kanye West
BS is proof that success comes to those who really work for it. The rapper was working as a telemarketer in Detroit when he heard that Kanye West was going to be at a local radio station. One of his friends encouraged him to go and rap for him, hoping that he'd be impressed by what he heard. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, right? Well, it almost was. /p>
"Kanye shook my hand and started walking away," Sean told MTV. "My friend was like, 'You gotta go for it.' So I tapped him on the shoulder and was like, 'I'm an aspiring MC. I do this show every Friday. Can I rap for you?' He was like, 'No. I gotta go.' I'm like, 'Man, please -- you're my hero. Let me rap for you. Just let me spit for you.'"
The veteran rapper eventually relented and told Sean that he had 16 bars to impress him; that short amount of time turned into 10 minutes. Even though Kanye was super impressed, he "wasn't signing acts" at the time, but still wanted to stay in touch. Two years later, Sean was signed to Kanye's GOOD Music.
Discovered By: Jamie Foxx
When Ed was just 19 years old, he bought a 1-way ticket to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams of becoming a musician. He began playing open-mic nights all over the city, and one night happened to have Jamie Foxx as one of his audience members. The actor was SO impressed by what he heard that he offered the redhead access to his personal recording studio and let him stay at his home. Jamie helped Ed record and get in contact with the right people, and soon enough his music was being listened to by millions.
Discovered By: Jay Z
When J. Cole figured out which studio Jay Z was recording American Gangster in, he came up with a plan to get the rapper to notice him.
"I went home, made two beats, one was called 'Top of the World,' put a hook on it and everything. Burned my CD. Put the CD in a case, closed it up, took the train to the city, stood outside the studio...for like three hours... just like passing time waiting on Jay Z to pull up. We've been in the rain [and] the Phantom finally pulls around the corner. He hops out. I froze. I don’t really know what to say. I'm like, 'Yo, Jay I got this for you.' He's like, 'What is that? What are you doing?' I'm like, American Gangster, beat CD.' I can't really speak and he’s like, 'Man I don't want that s*it, man. Give that to one of those guys.' I'm like, "Oh you mother... Don't you know I've been out here for three hours?"
But even though their first interaction did NOT go well, J didn't give up hope. Jay eventually heard his fan's track "Lights Please," and willingly set up a meeting, which would eventually lead to JC being the first artist signed to his label, Roc Nation.
Discovered By: Kanye West
When Cudi moved from Cleveland to NYC to pursue a music career, little did he know his path would accidentally cross with Kanye's. One day, when the up-and-coming rapper was working at BAPE, the veteran musician came in and purchased a few things. One of the censors remained on a piece of clothing as he walked out, so KC ran after him to get it removed. "Pretty funny me chasing after him in SoHo," he remembered.
A few years later, the rappers' paths would cross AGAIN when Kanye heard Cudi's mixtape A Kid Named Cudi thanks to his then-manager Plain Pat, and eventually signed him to GOOD Music.