The internet has changed the ways in which we discover new talent in our society. In the past, young actors or singers found fame the old fashioned way; by moving to Hollywood, going to auditions, and praying they’d be "discovered." These days, fame could be just a few clicks away, as evidenced by the following five superstars who all got their start on YouTube, blogs, and through viral word of mouth. No, we’re not talking about "internet famous" people either, like Rebecca Black or Antoine Dodson, we’re talking about legitimate, lasting fame that came as a direct result of being on the Internet.
1. Kate Upton
Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Kate Upton was a working model whose own agency, IMB, worried that she "wasn't fashion
enough" by fashion house standards, until a friend uploaded a video
that went viral. In the video, Upton does a bouncy chair dance version of "The Dougie"
dance at an L.A. Clippers game, and as of now, the video has been viewed over 9 million times on YouTube. Soon after making it big online, Upton scored the prestigious cover spot of the Sports Illustrated
swimsuit issue, and she has since been featured everywhere from to Victoria’s Secret
2. Justin Bieber
Since Justin Bieber
is such a mega-star, many people don’t realize that he got his start in Ontario, Canada, by uploading videos to YouTube of himself performing R&B songs. Seven months and ten thousand views later, Bieber attracted the attention of his future manager, Scooter Braun, who got him his first record deal. At age 13, Bieber signed a contract with R&B singer Usher’s label, and to date, Bieber has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide. His Twitter (@justinbieber) is currently the second most popular account in the world, after Lady Gaga.
3. Kim Kardashian
Courtesy: NY Daily News
America first "met" reality star Kim Kardashian
when we’d see her in the tabloids, tagging along with socialite Paris Hilton in the early 2000s, but she didn’t become really famous until her sex tape with R&B singer Ray J hit the web in 2007. After clips from the video were leaked online, Kardashian became a household name in U.S. popular culture. Kardashian also maintains a very active presence on social media and celebrity gossip sites. Kardashian herself admits that "the internet has brought on a different kind of celebrity,"
and says that she enjoys interacting with her fans on Facebook and Twitter, even though some of the things she reads about herself are hurtful. These days, it’s impossible to go to any celebrity gossip sites
without finding an article about Kardashian.
4. Carly Rae Jepsen
Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen
had already made a name for herself in her own country, but she didn't become an international superstar until a YouTube video of herself performing her big hit, “Call Me Maybe” was noticed by fellow Canadian singer, Justin Bieber. Bieber tweeted about the song to his millions of fans, and next thing you know, the song exploded on the U.S. Pop charts and became the official ear worm of 2012.
5. Bo Burnham
Comedian Bo Burnham
was just sixteen years-old when he started making videos of his unique brand of comedy and uploading them to YouTube. Burnham, who is famous for his politically incorrect original songs and jokes involving race, religion, and other taboo subject matter, achieved fame fast and early thanks, in part, to comedy site Break
. After his YouTube videos surpassed 70 million views, Burnham got an agent and started performing at festival and comedy clubs. Comedy Central signed Burnham for a full length special just days after his 18th birthday, making him the youngest comedian to ever achieve that honor.