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Top 10 Musical Artists Discovered Through the Internet


Script by Nathan Sharp Thank you, internet! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten musical artists discovered through the internet. For this list, we’ll be looking at those musical artists who were discovered online, either through YouTube or another music-sharing website or application. It doesn’t matter if these artists had careers in music before becoming famous, as we’ll be counting their arrival to the mainstream, not necessarily the starts of their careers. Like our videos? Head over to WatchMojo.comsuggest to submit your own video ideas today!  
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Top 10 Musical Artists Discovered Through the Internet

 
Thank you, internet! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten musical artists discovered through the internet.
 
For this list, we’ll be looking at those musical artists who were discovered online, either through YouTube or another music-sharing website or application. It doesn’t matter if these artists had careers in music before becoming famous, as we’ll be counting their arrival to the mainstream, not necessarily the starts of their careers.
 

#10: Shawn Mendes

 
Arriving on the scene in 2015, Mendes has cracked the Billboard Hot 100 top ten with songs like “Stitches” and “Treat You Better”. But, everyone has to start somewhere, and for Mendes that place was the now-defunct app Vine. This was a unique approach to take in the crowded novice-singer-on-the-internet market, and it worked out, as he soon gained millions of followers. It was here that manager Andrew Gertler discovered him, and Mendes released his first song under Island Records, “Life of the Party,” in 2014. Clocking hits before his 18th birthday, Mendes looks to have a promising and fulfilling career ahead of him.
 
 

#9: OneRepublic

 
By 2002, vocalist Ryan Tedder was a fairly established and connected producer in the music industry,and he convinced Zach Filkins to relocate to Los Angeles so that they could start a band. Despite signing with Columbia and recording a full album, the record label dropped them at the last second. As a result, the band put their music on MySpace, and they quickly grew a devout following. It was here that their music caught the attention of Timbaland, who signed them to his record label, Mosley Music Group, where they quickly found undeniable success, and security.




#8: Tori Kelly

 
While Tori Kelly did appear on “American Idol,” she made her name herself. When Kelly was 14, she began posting cover songs to YouTube, where she eventually gained over one million subscribers. She then appeared on Season 9 of “American Idol,” but failed to reach the top 24, leading her to record, produce, and engineer an independent EP in her bedroom. She eventually caught the attention of renowned talent manager Scooter Braun and signed to Capitol Records, where she recorded her major label debut and eventually received a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. 
 
 
 

#7: Arctic Monkeys

 
The Arctic Monkeys are now a well-known and respected alternative rock band, and it all started with a few harmless demos. Their collective demos, now known as the Beneath the Boardwalk collection, were given away for free at their small-time gigs, and they quickly grew in popularity thanks to file sharing. The band’s fans then made a MySpace page for the group, where the music quickly garnered attention. Thanks to their growing reputation, the band signed to Domino, an independent label, and it was here that they reached #1 in the UK, signifying a new trend of discovering bands via the internet. 
 
 

#6: 5 Seconds of Summer

 
5 Seconds of Summer formed in 2011 and began posting cover songs to YouTube soon after. The group quickly became YouTube celebrities, and as a result, caught the attention of Sony ATV Music Publishing. While they received some buzz in their home country of Australia, they shot to mainstream attention when One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson posted a link to one of their songs. This led 5 Seconds of Summer into supporting One Direction on their Take Me Home Tour. Due to the success of the tour, their debut album peaked at #1 in the US, Canada, and much of Europe – proving they'd made the big time.
 
 

#5: The Weeknd

 
While The Weeknd is now an international Starboy, he was once just a troublesome kid from Toronto by the name of Abel Tesfaye. After dropping out of high school, Abel met producer Jeremy Rose and took to rapping over his moody beats. Tesfaye then uploaded the songs he recorded with Rose to his YouTube channel, which then caught the attention of Drake, and the music press. Drake subsequently offered to work with him, which significantly boosted The Weeknd’s cred. After a few acclaimed  mixtapes, he signed with Republic Records, and is now a #1 artist.  
 
 
 

#4: Charlie Puth

 
Charlie Puth began his YouTube channel, titled Charlies Vlogs, in 2009, in which he uploaded covers of popular songs and various comedy sketchs. However, it wasn’t until he won an online competition that he began to gain recognition. He sang Adele’s “Someone Like You” with Emily Luther, which gained the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, who signed him to her eleveneleven label. After breaking from eleveneleven, he signed with Atlantic in 2015, where he released “Marvin Gaye” and was featured on Wiz Khalifa's “See You Again,” where he quickly gained worldwide popularity.
  
 
 

#3: Pentatonix

 
Before winning “The Sing-Off,” an early version of the band – then just Kirstie, Mitch, and Scott – found a bit of fame with their YouTube cover of Lady Gaga's “Telephone”. From there, they brought on Kevin Olusola – who, fittingly, they discovered on YouTube – and bass vocalist Avi Kaplan. Pentatonix was born, but despite winning “The Sing-Off” they were dropped by their label, which led the group back to YouTube. Building a strong, devoted following they signed with RCA Records and have helped bring a cappella into the mainstream in a big, big way.  
 
 

#2: Adele

 
James Bond might have confirmed her as a world class star,  but it was MySpace that presented her to the world. Adele had recorded three songs for a class project, with no real intent to release them anywhere. But when a friend uploaded the songs to MySpace, they quickly turned heads. This caught the attention of the boss of XL Recordings, who signed her in September 2006. A little over a year later, “19” was released to near universal acclaim, rocketing to #1 in the UK and #4 in the US, backed by hit singles like “Chasing Pavements”. It has only been uphill from there.

 
 
 
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
 
 
 
 
Cody Simpson
  

Skrillex
 
 
 
Lily Allen
 
 

#1: Justin Bieber

 
Justin Bieber is inarguably the biggest artist to come from YouTube, and his life has become synonymous with internet success stories. Bieber was raised in the small town of Stratford, Ontario, where he recorded covers of various songs and uploaded them to the platform. Talent manager Scooter Braun accidentally discovered Bieber on the website, and after he tracked Justin down and contacted his mother, Bieber was flown to Atlanta to record demos. His debut EP, My World, debuted at number six, and the debut single, “One Time,” was certified five times platinum in the US. The rest, they say, is history. 
  
Do you agree with our picks? Can you think of any other musical artists who were discovered through the internet? For more informative top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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