8 Celebrities Who Got Their Start as Backup Singers

Mariah Carey was a dancer, too
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2015 6:40 PM CDT
8 Celebrities Who Got Their Start as Backup Singers
Gwen Stefani performs during an exclusive concert for MasterCard cardholders at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 in New York.   (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

Not everyone skyrockets directly to fame: Ranker lists 24 celebrities who started out as backup singers. A sampling:

  • Katy Perry: When she still went by her birth name of Katy Hudson, she sang backup for P.O.D. and appeared in one of the band's 2006 music videos ("Goodbye for Now").
  • Mariah Carey: Sang backup and also worked as a dancer for Brenda Starr in the late '80s.
  • Gwen Stefani: It may be hard to believe now, but she was originally a backup singer in No Doubt. When the original lead singer, John Spence, committed suicide in 1987, she took his place.

  • Elton John: His band, Bluesology, provided backup vocals and instrumentation for artists including Patti LaBelle and the Isley Brothers.
  • Sheryl Crow: She started out singing backup for Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Don Henley.
  • Pink: She got her start singing backup in Philadelphia clubs as a teenager.
  • Whitney Houston: She was a backup singer for Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls.
  • Cher: You can hear her singing backup on the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" and the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'."
Click for the complete list, including one hot artist who started out singing hooks for Kanye West. (More celebrity stories.)

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