Rising YouTube Sensations

Chelsey Locatell | @ChelseyLoc

Thanks to YouTube and other video sharing sites, instant digital stars are being born (or discovered) just about every day. Anyone with a camera and an internet connection can belt out their favorite artists' songs and share these videos with the world via social media. Fans play a huge role in creating these up-and-coming talents by choosing the most promising ones with the most stylish looks, sometimes catapulting them into instant stardom -- simply by watching and sharing their videos.

This social media phenomenon has brought budding celebrity sound-alikes face to face with the celebrities whose songs they cover or has even landed them deals with major record labels, making their dreams a reality.  Justin Bieber, Sophia Grace and Rosie, Cody Simpson, and Austin Mahone all got their start on YouTube channels, and here's where it landed them...

[youtube]http://youtu.be/eQOFRZ1wNLw[/youtube]

YouTube has over 12 trillion views overall and the “beliebers” (Justin Bieber fans) take up a huge chunk of them -- over 400 million! Justin Bieber's or "Kidrauhl" (the name of his YouTube Channel) got his start at fame from his vocally sound cover of Chris Brown's hit single “With You” in 2008. This caught the attention of American talent manager Scooter Braun. Braun gave Justin the opportunity to show off his talent in front of pop recording artist Usher who noticed Bieber’s potential and determination. The Bieber phenomenon continues as he currently holds the second-most viewed YouTube video, “Baby" featuring three-time Grammy Award winning rapper, Ludacris. This video has 850,860,839 views at the time of this writing, second only to Korean master man Psy’s single Gangnam Style with 1,552,071,214 views.

The adorable British eight year old Sophia Grace and her five year old hype girl Rosie are known for their jammin' cover of “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj, as well as for their formal pink princess dresses and tiaras. TV talk show host Ellen Degeneres caught a glimpse at their YouTube video (with 43,460,913 views at the time of this writing) and invited them on the show to meet Nicki Minaj. Sophia and Rosie captivated viewers everywhere with their inspirational performance, including hip hop free-styling. Their fame continues today with frequent appearances on the Ellen Degeneres Show, as well as red carpet celebrity interviews and ten YouTube videos.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/C7hTAp6KrGY[/youtube]

The beach blond Australian teen Cody Simpson got his start on YouTube by performing covers of Jason Mraz and Justin Timerlake in his home.  His inspirational acoustic videos attracted producer Shawn Campbell who signed the fourteen year old after seeing the potential of his home made videos. Cody Simpson’s YouTube channel supports a growing 751,929 subscribers behind his current hit single “Pretty Brown Eyes” with 11,129,245 views.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/EGDlVvIGTZk[/youtube]

The current “Artist to Watch” according to MTV is Austin Mahone. He got his shot at fame from showing off his incredible voice on his YouTube channel. His "mahomies" got him noticed by Chase/Universal Republic, which launched his musical career.  Mahone has opened for Taylor Swift on her Red tour and recently released his hit single “What About Love” with 41,378,214 views. Since then Mahone offers a $50 dollar ten minute skype session with his fans... talk about taking advantage of social media!

[youtube]http://youtu.be/2PEG82Udb90 [/youtube]

With video sharing sites like YouTube it is becoming easier for ambitious talents to grab a hold of their dreams, get beyond “what if" and attract others to gain fame and support for their passions. What's more, social media is allowing fans to get closer to their dream celebrities like never before.

Credit for thumbnail image: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2280691/Now-Sophia-Grace-Rosie-debut-second-New-York-Times-childrens-best-sellers-list--land-acting-role.html