Today, we are going to talk about some successful mainstream artists who began their careers not in music but in another art.
Some of the most successful artists today, especially in our generation, demonstrated their performance skills as actors on television. The small screen launched the young actors to stardom as they left it behind to pursue a career in music, and they were incredibly talented! Some of them made millions, broke records, and became icons and an inspiration for others. From Nickelodeon’s ‘Victorious’ star Ariana Grande to the Grammy-winning Disney Channel star Olivia Rodrigo, we look at 13 Child Actors who made it big in the music industry.
Although the ‘Positions’ singer, Ariana Grande, has been lauded for her singing, she wasn’t always a full-time musician. One of the most successful pop stars of our time – Grande, began singing and acting when she was quite young. Ariana bagged a role in the Broadway play ‘13’ in 2008. Soon, she began appearing on the telly in bits but her big break came in 2010.
Ariana Grande landed a role in Nickelodeon’s television series ‘Victorious’ as Cat Valentine. She played a teenager attending a performing arts school in the show. After the sitcom starring Victoria Justice was canceled in 2013, Grade starred in the spin-off show ‘Sam & Cat’.
She released the single ‘Put Your Hearts Up’ in the midst of pursuing her acting career in 2011. Grande’s debut album, ‘Yours Truly’, came two years later. It included the popular single ‘The Way’, a collaboration with rapper Mac Miller. However, this wasn’t her only collaboration on the album, the other two were ‘Right There’ with rapper Big Sean, and ‘Almost Is Never Enough’ featuring The Wanted’s English singer Nathan Skyes.
‘Yours Truly’ debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. The singer was widely praised for her R&B-infused pop music and impressive vocal range.
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She then decided to focus on her music as she was gaining more and more success with her sophomore album, ‘My Everything’, establishing her as a pop star. This album was released in 2014 and gave us several hits like – the uptempo-dance pop song ‘Problem’ featuring rapper Iggy Azalea, ‘One Last Time’ the dance-pop song which gained a whole new meaning after the attack at the singer’s Manchester’s show, ‘Break Free’, an EDM track she did with the popular DJ, Zedd; another hit with The Weeknd called ‘Love Me Harder’; and the smash hit that can still be heard at parties and events today – ‘Bang Bang’ featuring Jessie J and Nicki Minaj.
This album also debuted at number 1. Apart from the above-mentioned hits, it also included collaborations with artists like Big Sean, Cashmere Cat, and Childish Gambino. The singer’s sophomore album as well as the hit song ‘Bang Bang’ earned her the Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Grammy nominations, respectively.
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Grande went on to release four more albums – ‘Dangerous Woman’ (2016), ‘Sweetener’ (2018), ‘thank u, next’ (2019), and ‘Positions’ (2020), with all of them going on to become Best Pop Vocal Album nominees at the Grammy awards.
Ariana’s first Grammy win was the Best Pop Vocal Album award for her 2018 album ‘Sweetener’. The singer has collaborated with many artists over the years, including Doja Cat, Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, Victoria Monet, and Megan Thee Stallion. One such collaboration with the iconic Lady Gaga won the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Grammy Award for the song ‘Rain On Me’ in 2021.
After several successful years in the music industry, Grande made a comeback in her acting career in Netflix’s film ‘Don’t Look Up’. The star also became a coach on ‘The Voice’ 2021 and that’s not all! Grande is set to star in the movie adaptation of ‘Wicked’, alongside Cynthia Erivo as the musical’s leads: Enemies-to-best friends Elphaba and Glinda. The roles were originated by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth.
We have all known of Miley Cyrus ever since her titular character in ‘Hannah Montana’. The star took singing and acting lessons and she bagged her first acting role as Kylie in her father’s television series ‘Doc’. At thirteen, Cyrus auditioned for the role of the title character’s best friend for the Disney Channel television series ‘Hannah Montana’ but was called to audition for the lead role instead.
The show gained a large audience. The success of the series caused the pop star to be labeled a “teen idol” at the time, even touring with the Cheetah Girls as Hannah Montana in September 2006. She performed songs from the show’s first season and Walt Disney Records released a soundtrack credited to Cyrus’s character’s commercial success.
Cyrus’ highly successful 2007-2008 Best of Both Worlds Tour led to the theatrical release of the 3D concert film Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert (2008).
Miley released two studio albums – ‘Meet Miley Cyrus’ (2007) and ‘Breakout’ (2008) before offering ‘The Climb’ in 2009, which served as a single from the soundtrack to the Hannah Montana feature film. It was met with a warm critical and commercial reaction.
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It became a crossover hit in both pop and country music formats with the soundtrack becoming the singer’s fourth entry to top the Billboard 200. Cyrus’ ‘Party In The U.S.A.’ off ‘The Time Of Our Lives’ remains the star’s most successful single to date, which has garnered over 900 million streams on Spotify and more than 866 million views on YouTube. After her 2010 album, ‘Can’t Be Tamed’, Miley worked with several hip-hop artists.
The singer saw worldwide commercial success with her single ‘We Can’t Stop’ off her fourth studio album ‘Bangerz’ which also featured another hit song ‘Wrecking Ball’. Her ‘We Cant Stop’ music video set the Vevo record for most views within twenty-four hours of release. It became the first to reach 100 million views on the site.
In 2015, Cyrus released her fifth studio album titled ‘Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz’. She was a key advisor during the tenth season of the reality singing competition ‘The Voice’, signing on as a coach for the eleventh season as a replacement for Gwen Stefani. Miley became the youngest coach to appear in any incarnation of the series. Her next album came in 2017 with hits like the title track ‘Younger Now’ and ‘Malibu’. She is also returning as a coach on the thirteenth season of ‘The Voice’.
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Featuring vocal collaborations with RuPaul, Swae Lee, Mike Will Made It, and Ghostface Killah, Miley’s ‘SHE IS COMING’ was released in 2019. ‘Mothers Daughter’ was one of its popular songs and its original music video won two MTV Video Music Awards.
Miley had an acting comeback starring in the episode “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too,” of Netflix’s popular science fiction series ‘Black Mirror’ in 2019 playing fictional pop star Ashley O. She also provided the voice for her AI doll extension, Ashley Too. Cyrus lent her voice for two songs ‘On A Roll’, and ‘Right Where I Belong’.
Her latest studio album ‘Plastic Hearts’ marked a step into rock and glam rock music. It spawned three hits: ‘Prisoner’ featuring the ‘Levitating’ and the ‘Don’t Start Now’ hitmaker Dua Lipa and ‘Angels like You’, along with ‘Midnight Sky’. Cyrus has also received a nod at the Grammy Awards in 2015 in the category ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’ for ‘Bangerz.
Hillary Duff, just like the ‘Hannah Montana’ star Miley Cyrus, was quickly labeled as a “teen idol” for her stardom in her acting career at a young age. She was the title character of the television series ‘Lizzie McGuire’ (2001), and in the film based on the series, ‘The Lizzie McGuire Movie’ (2003). The star also appeared in numerous mainstream films such as ‘Cadet Kelly’ (2002), ‘Agent Cody Banks’ (2003), ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ (2003) and ‘A Cinderella Story‘ (2004).
Duff also appeared in independent films. She played a wider range of adult-themed roles. Her works included ‘War, Inc.’ (2008), ‘According to Greta’ (2009), and ‘The Haunting of Sharon Tate’ (2019), inspired by the real-life Tate–LaBianca murders. She also starred as Kelsey Peters in TV Land’s longest-running original series ‘Younger‘ (2015-2021). Hillary received two People’s Choice Awards nominations for it.
Her musical career came to prominence in 2002. This was the year she released her Christmas-themed debut studio album ‘Santa Claus Lane’. She has been hailed as an inspiration by her subsequent Disney stars. This included Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato.
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Duff’s sophomore album ‘Metamorphosis’, which was out in 2003, saw much success. It topped the Billboard 200 chart. ‘Metamorphosis’ earned Hillary a 3× Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
This was just the beginning for Duff. The singer enjoyed significant commercial success with her subsequent albums. The albums were her self-titled ‘Hillary Duff’ (2004), ‘Most Wanted’ (2005), and ‘Dignity’ (2007) was Platinum and Gold-certified. Her latest and fifth album ‘Breathe In. Breathe Out.’ came in 2015.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Duff has sold an estimated 15 million records worldwide, earning two platinum certifications. The star’s current and latest project is ‘How I Met Your Father’. She produces and stars in the Hulu series in the lead role, Sophie.
The pop icon who sold nearly 150 million records worldwide started out very young. She auditioned for Disney’s television series ‘The All New Mickey Mouse Club’. However, she was deemed too young. In this period, she started making television commercials. In 1991, she appeared in Ruthless, an Off-Broadway play where she was hired for her first professional role as the understudy for the lead role of Tina Denmark in it.
Two years later, the star finally became a cast member of the aforementioned show. She starred alongside future stars Ryan Gosling, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake in ‘The All New Mickey Mouse Club’.
The show was canceled in 1995 but this only meant new beginnings for the future pop star.
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She made a demo tape that earned her a development deal with Jive Records when she was 15, and she went on to release her first single, ‘…Baby One More Time’ in 1998. Spears’ album titled ‘…Baby One More Time’ released in 1999. It skyrocketed to number one on the charts. Britney Spears made an album that sold more than 10 million copies in the United States. Her second album ‘Oops!… I Did It Again’ was successful too.
The release of her third album came in 2001 and the star signed a multimillion-dollar deal to be a spokesperson for Pepsi. Her third album, ‘Britney’, sold over four million copies domestically with its follow-up ‘In The Zone’ album selling nearly three million. This could partly be because of the timeless hit single ‘Toxic’.
The star went on to release five albums over the years – ‘Blackout’ (2007), ‘Circus’ (2008), ‘Femme Fatale’ (2011), ‘Britney Jean’ (2013), and ‘Glory’ (2020). In 2012, she appeared as a judge in the televised talent competition ‘The X Factor’. In the following year, Spears began a residency show. It was titled ‘Britney: Piece of Me’ at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
Much like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, too, auditioned for a position on ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’. She, too, did not meet its age requirements and joined the show two years later. Aguilera performed musical numbers and sketch comedy until its cancellation in 1994 with fellow cast members including Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake.
The singer, who has been known for her four-octave vocal range and ability to sustain high notes, began her musical career with “All I Wanna Do”, a duet with Japanese singer Keizo Nakanishi In 1998.
Christina was selected to sing the theme song ‘Reflection’ for Disney’s animated film ‘Mulan’ (1998). It charted on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart at number 15. Aguilera’s rise to stardom was her lead single from the album, ‘Genie in a Bottle’. It is a trendy pop and R&B track released in June 1999 and peaked atop the US Billboard Hot 100 and on charts of 20 other countries.
Xtina’s self-titled debut album ‘Christina Aguilera’ was released in 1999. It peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 and was certified eight times platinum by the RIAA. The album also featured hits like ‘What a Girl Wants’ and ‘Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)’, and ‘I Turn to You’.
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In February 2000, Aguilera won a Grammy award for Best New Artist. Aguilera’s two following studio albums were ‘Mi Reflejo’ and ‘My Kind of Christmas’, with the first being a Spanish-language album consisting of re-recorded versions of tracks on Aguilera’s debut album and several original songs. It topped the Billboard Top Latin Albums for 19 consecutive weeks. The album was certified six times platinum in the Latin field by the RIAA and won Best Female Pop Vocal Album at the 2nd Annual Latin Grammy Awards in 2001.
‘My Kind of Christmas’ contains covers of popular Christmas songs. It also included a few original dance-pop tunes and was certified platinum by the RIAA.
‘Stripped’ came in 2002, incorporating various genres revolving around the theme of self-esteem while also discussing sex and gender equality which peaked at number two on the Billboard 200. Hit songs from the album included ‘Beautiful’, a ballad that received universal acclaim; ‘Fighter’, ‘Can’t Hold Us Down’, and ‘The Voice Within’. ‘Beautiful’ went on to win a Grammy award for the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2004.
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Aguilera’s 2006 album ‘Back to Basics’ was a successful album, too, it debuted atop the Billboard 200. The singer won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ off her fifth studio album – ‘Back to Basics’ at the 2007 Grammy awards. This album also featured top-ten singles: ‘Hurt’ and ‘Candyman’. Christina’s subsequent albums ‘Bionic’ (2010), Lotus’ (2012), and ‘Liberation’ (2018) did extremely well too.
Aguilera served as a coach on the first three seasons of the television competition series ‘The Voice’ and although she skipped the fourth season, the singer returned for the show’s fifth installment.
Christina has worked on songs for soundtracks and worked with many artists throughout her career, and one such collaboration was with ‘A Great Big World’ on the ballad ‘Say Something’. It earned a six-time platinum certification from the RIAA. ‘Say Something’ also won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Aguilera has been an influence to many and she continues to shine on!
Selena Gomez, another of our Disney stars, began her acting career on the children’s television series ‘Barney & Friends’ (2002–2004) alongside another pop star – Demi Lovato. She rose to prominence for her lead role as Alex Russo in the Disney Channel television series ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ (2007–2012) when she was a teenager.
Gomez has also appeared in the films ‘Another Cinderella Story’ (2008), a sequel to ‘A Cinderella Story’ (2004) starring Hillary Duff and One Tree Hill’s Chad Michael Murray; ‘Princess Protection Program’ (2009) alongside her ‘Barney & Friends’ co-star Demi Lovato, ‘Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie’ (2009), ‘Ramona and Beezus’ (2010), and Monte Carlo’ (2011), among others. Selena replaced Miley Cyrus and voiced the character Mavis in the ‘Hotel Transylvania’ film franchise.
She also executive produced the popular Netflix television series ‘13 Reasons Why’ and ‘Living Undocumented’ (2019). The ‘Lose You To Love Me’ singer produced these through her production company, July Moonhead Productions. She also executive produces and stars in the HBO Max cooking series ‘Selena + Chef’ and the Hulu mystery-comedy series ‘Only Murders in the Building’ co-starring Steve Martin and Martin Short.
The Hulu television series earned Gomez critical praise. She also received a nod at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards for Best Actress in a Comedy series.
The star released three albums with her former band, ‘Selena Gomez & the Scene’. They were: ‘Kiss & Tell’ (2009), ‘A Year Without Rain’ (2010), and ‘When the Sun Goes Down’ (2011). They all reached the top ten of the US Billboard 20. All of their albums were certified gold by the RIAA. Popular songs on Gomez’s former band’s albums include: ‘Naturally’, and ‘Tell Me Something I Don’t Know’ (‘Kiss & Tell’); ‘Round & Round’, and ‘A Year Without Rain’ (‘A Year Without Rain’); ‘Love You Like A Love Song’, ‘Who Says’, and ‘Hit The Lights’ (‘When The Sun Goes Down’).
Gomez eventually went on to pursue a solo career in music. She released three solo studio albums – ‘Stars Dance’ (2013) featuring hits – ‘Come & Get It’ and ‘Slow Down’; ‘Revival’ (2015) with popular songs like ‘Kill Em With Kindness’, ‘Hands To Myself’, ‘Same Old Love’, and ‘Good For You’; and ‘Rare’ (2020) featuring tracks – ‘Lose You To Love Me’, and ‘Look At Her Now’. Each of the pop star’s albums debuted atop the Billboard 200.
Last year, the singer released the Spanish-language EP – ‘Revelación’ and received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album. Selena Gomez has seen much success with singles that have charted inside the top ten of the US Billboard Hot 100. These include ‘Come & Get It’, ‘The Heart Wants What It Wants’, ‘Good for You’ feat. A$AP Rocky, ‘Same Old Love’, ‘Hands to Myself’, ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore’ feat. Charlie Puth, and ‘It Ain’t Me’ by Selena Gomez & Kygo. Her first number-one song was ‘Lose You to Love Me’.
Demi Lovato, although known for their role in Disney channel’s ‘Sonny With A Chance’ in her teenage years, started out as a child actor appearing on the children’s television series ‘Barney & Friends’ (2002–2004). They rose to prominence for playing Mitchie Torres in the musical television film ‘Camp Rock’ (2008). Lovato was also in the sequel ‘Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam’ (2010). The soundtrack of ‘Camp Rock’ (2008) featured the track ‘This Is Me’. This was the singer’s debut single and duet with Joe Jonas. It peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
Lovato starred as the titular character on the sitcom Sonny with a Chance for two seasons. They also served as a judge on the music competition series ‘The X Factor USA’ for its second and third seasons. Demi appeared as a recurring character in the musical comedy ‘Glee’ (2013–2014).
Similarly, she was also on the sitcom ‘Will & Grace’ (2020). The pop star starred alongside Selena Gomez in the television drama film ‘Princess Protection Program’ (2009). They voice the character of ‘Smurfette’ in the 2017 animated comedy film ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’. Lovato also appeared in the musical comedy ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ (2020).
Demi Lovato had signed with Hollywood Records. They released their pop-rock debut album, ‘Don’t Forget’ in 2008 with ‘La La Land’ being one of the popular songs. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and follow-up, Lovato’s second album ‘Here We Go Again’ (2009), debuted at number one in the U.S. This album’s title track reached number 15 on the Hot 100.
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Lovato’s third studio album, ‘Unbroken’ was released in 2011. It experimented with pop and R&B and featured songs like ‘Skyscraper’ and ‘Give Your Heart A Break’. ‘Unbroken’ spawned the U.S. platinum-certified single ‘Skyscraper’. The singer’s fourth studio album came in 2013. This self-titled album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200.
The singer’s fifth and sixth albums, ‘Confident’ (2015) and ‘Tell Me You Love Me’ (2017), infused soul and mature themes. The former included songs like ‘Confident’, ‘Cool for the Summer’, and ‘Stone Cold’, and the latter featured the hits ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ and the title track ‘Tell Me You Love Me’. Lovato earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album in 2017 for ‘Confident’.
This wasn’t her only Grammy nomination. The second one came in 2019 for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for ‘Fall in Line’ with Christina Aguilera. This was also an especially memorable career milestone for Demi.
I grew up in Texas, singing to @xtina everyday, DESPERATELY trying to hit her high notes.. if you would’ve told me I’d have a Grammy nod with her I would’ve laughed in your face!! This is so surreal..
— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) December 7, 2018
‘Sorry Not Sorry’ the lead single from ‘Tell Me You Love Me’, became the star’s highest-charting single in the U.S. It reached number six. Lovato released their seventh album in 2021. It was titled ‘Dancing with the Devil… the Art of Starting Over’ and reached number two on the Billboard 200.
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Lovato has sold over 24 million records in the United States. They have also received numerous accolades, including an MTV Video Music Award, and fourteen Teen Choice Awards. Furthermore, she has won five People’s Choice Awards and two Latin American Music Awards.
The singer also has a Guinness World Record and has been known to be an activist for several social causes. Their struggles with eating disorders and substance abuse have received considerable media attention. In response to this, she published the self-help memoir ‘Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year’ (2013). Lovato has even released the documentaries ‘Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated’ (2017) and ‘Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil’ (2021).
Fergie was a member of the children’s television series ‘Kids Incorporated’. She was also in a girl group called ‘Wild Orchid’ and left it in 2001. In 2002, she joined the hip hop group the Black Eyed Peas and worked with them on two albums, achieving chart success as a part of it. Fergie released her debut album in 2006. It was titled ‘The Dutchess’ and saw commercial success.
Fergie’s debut album spawned three Billboard Hot 100 number one singles: ‘London Bridge’, ‘Glamorous’, and ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’. She then continued her collaboration with the Black Eyed Peas. The singer released two more albums with the group: ‘The E.N.D.’ (2009) and ‘The Beginning’ (2010). Fergie’s second solo album ‘Double Dutchess’, came in 2017. She also appeared in various films. These include ‘Poseidon’ (2006), ‘Grindhouse’ (2007), and ‘Nine’ (2009).
Fergie launched her first fragrance, ‘Outspoken’, under Avon in May 2010. Since then, the star has released four more fragrances and her footwear line, Fergie Footwear, was launched in 2009.
One of the most popular recording artists of the 1980s and ’90s, Janet Jackson, the tenth and youngest child of the Jackson family appeared as a regular on the 1970s television comedy series ‘Good Times’. The icon’s eponymous debut came in 1982, followed by a 1984 album ‘Dream Street’. She then took control of her career, moved out on her own, developed her own sound and influential style, and reemerged in 1986 with her breakthrough record ‘Control’.
It featured five singles that topped the rhythm-and-blues charts. It also includes two Top Ten pop hits, ‘What Have You Done for Me Lately’ and ‘Nasty’. She is noted for her innovative, socially conscious, and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows. Her fierce independence struck a chord with the youth of the day.
Jackson rose to a level of stardom. She collaborated with the production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (based in Minneapolis, Minnesota). They produced bold, beat-heavy, catchy songs that defined the punch and power of 1980s dance and pop music. The singer returned in 1989 with her most diverse work. It was her fourth studio album – ‘Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814’ that delivered seven pop Top Ten hit singles. It included ‘Miss You Much’, ‘Escapade’, and ‘Love Will Never Do (Without You)’.
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The singer continued to enjoy worldwide popularity and critical acclaim in the 1990s. Her subsequent albums were ‘Janet’ (1993), ‘Design of a Decade’ (1995), and ‘The Velvet Rope’ (1997), ‘All for You’ (2001), which continued in the sensual vein of ‘Janet’, and ‘Damita Jo’ (2004).
Her later albums included ‘20 Y.O.’ (2006), ‘Discipline’ (2008), and ‘Unbreakable’ (2015). The latter was billed as a comeback album. It used contemporary electronic arrangements to bolster the velvety vocals. It established Jackson as an R&B star and in 2019, Jackson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The popular rapper Drake started gaining recognition by starring as Jimmy Brooks in the CTV teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation (2001–08) as a teenager. He pursued a career in music by releasing his debut mixtape ‘Room for Improvement’ in 2006. The star subsequently released the mixtapes ‘Comeback Season’ (2007) and ‘So Far Gone’ (2009).
Drake then signed with Young Money Entertainment and released his debut studio album, ‘Thank Me Later’, in 2010. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 but the star achieved major critical success with his sophomore album ‘Take Care’ (2011) containing songs ‘Shot For Me’, ‘Crew Love’ feat. The Weeknd, and ‘Take Care’ feat. Rihanna.
The star then saw much commercial success with his third album ‘Nothing Was the Same (2013)’ which featured ‘Hold On. We’re Going Home’, a track he did with Majid Jordan. Drake’s also achieved commercial success with his 2015 mixtape ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’, which contained collaborations with PARTYNEXTDOOR, Lil Wayne, and Travis Scott. Both, ‘Nothing Was The Same’ and ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’ was certified multi-platinum in the US.
The rapper’s fourth album, Views (2016), sat atop the Billboard 200 for thirteen nonconsecutive weeks. It became the first album by a male solo artist to do so in over a decade. The album contained ‘Too Good’ feat Rihanna, ‘Hotline Blind’, and chart record-setting lead single ‘One Dance’.
Drake’s second commercial mixtape came in 2017. It was titled ‘More Life’ and set then-multiple streaming records. It saw hits like ‘Passionfruit’ and ‘Fake Love’ and in 2018, the star released the double album ‘Scorpion’. This album featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles ‘God’s Plan’, ‘Nice for What’, and ‘In My Feelings’.
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The ‘One Dance’ rapper’s third commercial mixtape was ‘Dark Lane Demo Tapes’ (2020). It featured the chart-topping ‘Toosie Slide’ and in the subsequent year, the EP ‘Scary Hours 2’ included the number one ‘What’s Next’. The track set chart records. In 2021, the rapper released his sixth album, ‘Certified Lover Boy’. It set the record for most U.S. top-ten entries from one album. This album’s lead single ‘Way 2 Sexy’ debuted at number 1.
Drake also founded the OVO Sound record label with longtime collaborator 40 in 2012. The rapper is among the world’s best-selling music artists. Drake has sold over 170 million records. He is ranked as the highest-certified digital singles artist in the United States by the RIAA with his collection of trophies, including four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, a record 34 Billboard Music Awards, two Brit Awards, and three Juno Awards.
The star also holds several Billboard Hot 100 chart records. They are:
- The most top 10 singles (54)
- The most charted songs (258)
- The most simultaneously charted songs in one week (27)
- The most Hot 100 debuts in one week (22)
- The most continuous time on the Hot 100 (431 weeks).
In addition to this, he has the most number-one singles on the:
- R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay charts
- Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts
- Hot Rap Songs charts
- Rhythmic Airplay charts.
Kylie Minogue, the highest-selling female Australian artist of all time, began her career with a minor role in the soap opera ‘The Sullivans’ (1979). In the subsequent year, she took on another small role in ‘Skyways’ (1980). Five years later, the singer was cast in one of the lead roles in ‘The Henderson Kids’ but achieved recognition while starring in the Australian soap opera ‘Neighbours’. She played a tomboy mechanic named Charlene Robinson.
Minogue rose to prominence as a recording artist in the late 1980s. She released four bubblegum and dance-pop-influenced studio albums and nearly a decade later amassed several top ten singles in the UK and Australia. These included ‘I Should Be So Lucky’, ‘The Loco-Motion’, ‘Hand on Your Heart’, and ‘Better the Devil You Know’.
Kylie released ‘Kylie Minogue’ (1994) and ‘Impossible Princess’ (1997), and then returned to mainstream dance-oriented music with 2000’s ‘Light Years’. This includes the number-one hits ‘Spinning Around’ and ‘On a Night Like This’.
The international breakthrough for Minogue was the 2001 album ‘Fever’. It became her best-selling album to date, with two of its singles, ‘Love at First Sight’ and ‘In Your Eyes’, becoming hits. The album’s lead single, ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ became one of the most successful singles of the 2000s. It sold over five million units.
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Minogue’s subsequent albums spawned successful singles. She continued reinventing her image and experimenting with a range of genres on them. The tracks included ‘Slow’, ‘2 Hearts’, ‘All the Lovers’, ‘Santa Baby’, ‘Timebomb’, and ‘Dancing’.
The singer became the first female artist to have a chart-topping album in the UK for five consecutive decades. This was because of the release of her 2020 album ‘Disco’.
Minogue made her film debut with ‘The Delinquents’ in 1989. The star portrayed Cammy in ‘Street Fighter’ (1994) and has also appeared in the films ‘Moulin Rouge!’ (2001), ‘Jack & Diane, Holy Motors’ (2012) and ‘San Andreas’ (2015).
The star appeared as a judge on the third series of ‘The Voice UK’ and ‘The Voice Australia’ in 2014. The singer has sold over 80 million records worldwide and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2008 New Year Honours. This was for services to music. The 2011 ARIA Music Awards, saw Kylie Minogue being inducted by the Australian Recording Industry Association into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
Olivia Rodrigo, who made a smash hit with her debut single ‘Driver’s License’, first appeared onscreen in an Old Navy commercial, shortly before making her acting debut at age twelve. Rodrigo portrayed the lead role of Grace Thomas in the direct-to-video film ‘An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success’, however, she only received recognition in 2016. It began when she starred in the Disney channel series ‘Bizaardvark’ as Paige Olvera. Her character was a guitarist, a role she played for three seasons.
February 2019 saw the young pop star cast in the starring role of Nini Salazar-Roberts on the Disney+ series ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ alongside her co-star Joshua Bassett. The singer wrote ‘All I Want’ for the show’s soundtrack. She also co-wrote ‘Just for a Moment’ with Bassett.
In 2020, Rodrigo signed with Geffen and Interscope Records. She released her debut single ‘Drivers License’. It broke various records. ‘Driver’s License’ went on to become one of the best-selling songs of 2021. It propelled her to mainstream fame which she followed up with subsequent singles singles ‘Deja Vu’ and ‘Good 4 U’ that were hits too!
The singer’s highly anticipated debut studio album, ‘Sour’ was released in 2021. It topped charts globally. ‘Sour’ was met with widespread critical acclaim. It earned Rodrigo a Brit Award and three Grammy Awards. This included the Best New Artist Grammy award. Time named the star the 2021 Entertainer of the Year. Billboard named Olivia Rodrigo Woman of the Year in 2022.
The last artist on our list of ‘Musicians Who Started Out As Child Actors’ is another Disney Channel star – Sabrina Carpenter, who made her acting debut with an appearance in the crime series ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’. She received much recognition for her recurring role as a young Chloe Goodwin in ‘The Goodwin Games’ but her breakthrough role was in a Disney Channel television series. She starred as Maya Hart in the Disney Channel series ‘Girl Meets World’.
The star starred in multiple feature films. They were: ‘Horns’ (2013), ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ (2016), ‘The Hate U Give’ (2018), ‘The Short History of the Long Road’ (2019), ‘Clouds’ (2020) and ‘Emergency’. Carpenter has also starred in the Netflix films. These included ‘Tall Girl’ (2019), its sequel ‘Tall Girl 2’ and ‘Work It’ (2020). The singer was a voice actress too, with recurring roles as Princess Vivian in ‘Sofia the First’ (2013–2018), and as Melissa Chase in ‘Milo Murphy’s Law’ (2016–2019).
To launch her music career, Carpenter signed to Hollywood Records and released her debut single, ‘Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying’, and EP of the same name. Carpenter, then released her debut album, ‘Eyes Wide Open’, in 2015.
The star has gone on to release three studio albums since then: ‘Evolution’ (2016) featuring ‘Thumbs’, ‘Singular: Act I’ (2018) including songs like ‘Almost Love’, ‘Sue Me’, and ‘Bad Time’ and ‘Singular: Act II’ with songs like ‘I Can’t Stop Me’ feat. Saweetie, and ‘Looking At Me’ (2019). Carpenter’s popular songs also include ‘Why’ and ‘On My Way’, a song she did with a Norwegian DJ Alan Walker and a Puerto Rican singer – Farruko.