Talent + Youtube account = stardom

June 6, 2010 — by Izzy Albert

“And I was like baby, baby, baby ohhh, like baby, baby, baby noo, like baby, baby, baby ohh, I thought you’d always be mine, mine.”

This over-played jingle stuck in many teenage girls’ heads is sung by Justin Bieber, the squeaky-clean 16-year-old Canadian sensation. After being discovered on YouTube and signing a deal with Usher, Bieber rapidly rose to become an international phenomenon. He released his first single “One Time” in 2009, and soon enough, many people worldwide found themselves diagnosed with the contagious “Bieber Fever.”

His beginnings, however, were relatively modest. When Bieber was just 12, his mother posted a video on YouTube of him singing in a local competition for all of his friends and family to view. To her surprise, she found that thousands of viewers were tuning in to these videos and continued to upload videos of her son singing.

Soon enough, Bieber was discovered by an executive at Island Records, and within months he began recording his debut album, My World. Bieber’s album reached platinum in the U.S. and Canada and silver in the U.K. Many hardcore-Beiber fans around the world, including senior Deepti Raghavan, were excited to be able to witness his rise to fame.

“When I first saw [Bieber] on YouTube, I knew he had everything going for him,” said Raghavan. “He has the voice, the looks and the lovability factor. I knew he was bound to make it big.”

Since his big break, Bieber has done virtually everything any aspiring musician wishes and hopes to be able to do. He has sung for President Barack Obama, hosted Saturday Night Live and performed at several live shows, such as “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

However, Bieber is not unique in his rise to fame. Other successful musicians who started out on YouTube include Dutch singer-songwriter Esmée Denters, American singer-songwriter Marié Digby and season 9 American Idol contestant Andrew Garcia.

Garcia, a 24-year-old American Idol contestant, first gained his confidence and fans off of YouTube. Garcia is well-known for singing covers of mainstream songs from popular artists, such as “Replay” by Iyaz with other YouTube stars including AJ Rafael. Garcia stuck to his style and brought it to American Idol. Junior Clarence Le, like most of the other tens of thousands worldwide who has been following Garcia since his early YouTube days, was ecstatic when Garcia made it onto American Idol.

“I was stoked when [Garcia] was finally getting the publicity he deserved,” said Le. “I thought he would win it for sure though, so I was upset when he got voted off.”

Growing up in Compton, Calif., both of Garcia’s parents were involved in gangs. Garcia didn’t want to be involved in gangs, so he turned to music for his escape.

“Music is what kept [Garcia] off the streets,” said Le. “Through YouTube and his singing talent, he was influenced to do good things rather than bad.”

Although he was voted off American Idol recently, the experience has taught Garcia many valuable life lessons such as “living in the present rather than the future or past,” and to never change for anyone.

YouTube provides many opportunities for ordinary people who aspire to show their talents to the rest of the world. Bieber and Garcia are just two examples of the fact that with some talent, individuality, and a YouTube account, stardom is within reach for anyone with talent.

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