8 Opening Acts Who Are a Bigger Deal Than the Headlining Artist

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If you’ve ever been to a concert before, then you know that most of the time, an opener is used to get the crowd ready for the main act and in exchange, they get a little bit more visibility and possibly earn some new fans. Opening acts are often no-name musicians, but sometimes the person or people pumping up the audience is ALMOST as big of a deal as the person taking center stage later that night. For example, Little Mix currently performs right before Ariana Grande on her Dangerous Woman Tour — and they kill it, but Ari’s 98.1 million Instagram followers would have something to say if we called them “more famous.”

But that’s not to say it never happens! Sure, the ticket sales stay the same, but it can be kind of embarrassing to see people leaving the show before the artist whose tour it is goes on stage!

Check out the gallery below to see which eight bands actually opened for an act that they are much more popular than. Warning, some of these just may be a little ~controversial~. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below or by @’ing us on Twitter!


One Direction

Opened For: Big Time Rush

In 2012, BTR took the British boy band on their Better with U Tour, but even the Nickelodeon guys noticed that there was something a little ~strange~ about having 1D on the road with them. Kendall Schmidt told us, "As cool as it was to hang out with them, it sucked for us because there would be 2,000 girls outside the show singing their songs even though it was our headlining show." Ouch, that does sound a little rough.

He continued, "The only reason we were on tour with them was because we had the same label and they were using us to promote their band in America. We didn't think it was fair, but that happened and then the rest is history." Kendall, James Maslow, Logan Henderson, and Carlos Pena, Jr. were voted Best Boy Band in the World (over 1D) that year, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik quickly surpassed the American group in terms of fame.

Photo: Getty Images

Taylor Swift

Opened For: Rascal Flats

Rascal Flats are definitely one of the biggest names in country music, but T.Swizzle is one of the biggest names in THE WORLD. The "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" singer opened for the group of guys twice — in 2006 and in 2008, after her Fearless album debuted.

Photo: Getty Images

Fifth Harmony

Opened For: Cher Lloyd

Cher Lloyd for sure has some JAMS ("Want U Back" and "With Ur Love" come to mind), but Fifth Harmony is basically the biggest girl group in the world right now, so thinking back to their time opening on the I Wish tour seems really tough. While all of them skyrocketed to fame thanks to their time on The X-Factor, 5H's popularity seemed to hold up while the British crooner's gradually faded away.

Photo: Wenn Images

Demi Lovato

Opened For: Avril Lavigne

When Avril embarked on The Best Damn Tour in 2008, she brought four Camp Rock stars with her as openers! One was Dems...

Photo: Instagram @AvrilLavigne

The Jonas Brothers

Opened For: Avril Lavigne

(continued from previous page) ... and the other three were the JoBros! Kendall from BTR mentioned that people would actually leave after 1D performed at their concert and we just have a feeling the same can be said for what happened after Dems, Nick, Joe & Kevin Jonas took the stage during the Avril concert (even though "Sk8r Boi" and "Complicated" are iconic tunes).

Photo: Wenn Images

Nick Jonas

Opened For: Maroon 5

Okay — we know this one is pretty *controversial.* Adam Levine & co make up this v. popular band, but the "Bom Bidi Bom" guy has SUPER strong following, both IRL and on social media. The former JoBro has 11.1 million IG followers compared to Maroon 5's 4.6 mil. Even the band's frontman, Adam (with 9.4m Insta fans) can't compete with Nick's loyal stans. #Sorrynotsorry.

Photo: Wenn Images

Katy Perry

Opened For: No Doubt

Just after "I Kissed a Girl" and "Hot N' Cold" were released as singles, Katy performed as an opener on ND's Summer 2009 tour. Paramore and Panic! at the Disco also opened for Gwen Stefani's band while they were on the road that summer, though their popularity in comparison to the headlining act is a little less obvious.

Photo: Wenn Images

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