veryone knows that YouTube is the place to be if you're looking for your 15 minutes of web fame, but some people actually managed to find fame in the real world after first becoming famous on the internet. But before you go thinking that YouTube is your ticket to fame, keep in mind that there are over 200,000 videos uploaded to the video site each day, and only a handful of people have gained wider recognition as a result of their online hits.
That's right, there would be no Biebs if there were no YouTube. The Canadian pop sensation's manager discovered the singer when he saw him on YouTube. This led to Biebs' contract with Island Records, which in turn led to his current status as the biggest thing to come out of Canada since Bryan Adams.
If this names don't sound familiar, that's because you probably never knew it to begin with. But you do know the story. Pineda is the Filipino singer whose Journey tribute band was spotted on YouTube by actual Journey guitarist Neal Schon, who was looking for someone to replace Steve Perry. Journey had previously hired another Journey tribute band singer, Jeremey Hunsicker, to front the band, but that partnership didn't last. Pineda was hired by the band in 2007 and he's been a permanent member of the band ever since.
One of the best examples of how YouTube is a better vehicle for launching careers than TV talent shows, Alexis Jordon appeared on the first season of America's Got Talent, but that show did little to help her career. After being eliminated from the show, Alexis began posting videos on YouTube, one of which brought her to the attention of a Norwegian production company and rapper Jay-Z. This resulted in Alexis getting a record deal. Her first single, "Happiness" charted in the UK, and she has gained large European following.
Would anyone care, or even know about Psy's massive hit "Gangnam Syle" if they had only heard the song—which is basically a by-the-numbers techno-inspired dance record that happens to be sung in Korean. It's the video—and more specifically the dance—that made the song a monster. First the video went viral, then a bunch of video parodies appeared, and then the song charted. Another case of the old-school entertainment biz lagging behind the kids on the 'net.
Jessica Lee Rose
There was a time, back in 2006, when Jessica Lee Rose was one of the most famous people on the internet. But no one knew her as Jessica Lee Rose, they knew her as lonelygirl15. Her video blogs (all of which turned out to be scripted) were the most-viewed videos on YouTube at the time, although it didn't take long for people to suspect that the videos weren't "real." lonelygirl15 was killed off in 2007, but Jessica quickly found acting work, landing roles in movies, TV shows, and music videos.
No one in the history of YouTube defines the concept of "15 minutes of fame" more than Chris Crocker, better know as the Leave Britney Alone Guy. Crocker's tearful defense of the pop diva became a massive internet sensation, and Crocker gained international attention. There was a short time when it looked as the Crocker, who displayed no particular talent in any of his video productions, might actually milk his 15 minutes for a show biz career. He acquired a high-end manager, had a few TV shows in development, and appeared in a Weezer video. Unfortunately, Crockers star quickly faded and his current project is for famed porno director Chi Chi LaRue.