back to top

12 People You Forgot Started On YouTube

Posting videos online led these people to fame and fortune. Catch the next generation of YouTube celebs in BlackBerry UK's LevelUp series.

Posted on

1. Justin Bieber

Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

YouTube Channel: kidrauhl

First upload: January 19, 2007

Mainstream success: A #1 album and three top 10 singles

Most popular video: A cover of Chris Brown's "With You" that has nearly 45 million views

2. Conor Maynard

Rob Harrison / Getty Images

YouTube channel: skillzaisherebooya

First upload: December 1, 2008

Mainstream success: A #1, BPA-certified silver album and MTV's Brand New for 2012 award

Most popular video: His cover of Chris Brown's "Next To You" with 12.5 million views

3. Greyson Chance

Julian Finney / Getty Images

YouTube channel: greyson97

First upload: April 28, 2010

Mainstream success: Two studio albums on Ellen DeGeneres' record label and an appearance on the TV show Raising Hope

Most popular video: A cover of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" for his sixth-grade talent fair with 51 million views

4. Karmin

Michael Kovac / Getty Images for Macy's

YouTube channel: karmincovers

First upload: August 25, 2010

Mainstream success: A record deal and #1 single, "Brokenhearted"

Most popular video: A cover of Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now" with over 85 million views

5. Soulja Boy

Kristian Dowling / Getty Images

YouTube channel: SouljaBoy

First upload: March 15, 2006

Mainstream success: A #2 single and a Grammy nomination

Most popular video: The music video for "Marco Polo," his song with Bow Wow, with 20 million views

6. Arnel Pineda

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

YouTube channel: zoobandrocks

First upload: July 11, 2007

Mainstream success: He's the lead singer of Journey

Most popular video: A cover of Journey's "Open Arms" with 652,000 views

7. Cody Simpson

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

YouTube channel: CodySimpsonMusic

First upload: November 1, 2008

Mainstream success: Two studio albums, multiple appearances on Disney Channel shows

Most popular video: The music video for his single "All Day"

8. Darren Criss

Christopher Polk / Getty Images for LISTEN UP Tour

YouTube channel: StarKidPotter, which he founded with his theatre troop from the University of Michigan

First upload: June 19, 2009

Mainstream success: A recurring role on Glee

Most popular video: Act 1, Scene 1 from A Very Potter Musical

9. Charice

Neilson Barnard / Getty Images for Woman's Day

YouTube channel: Charice

First upload: March 19, 2009

Mainstream success: A guest spot on Glee, judge on the Philippine version of The X Factor

Most popular video: The music video for her single "Pyramid" which has just under 40 million views

10. Bo Burnham

Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

YouTube channel: BoBurnham

First upload: December 21, 2006

Mainstream success: A Comedy Central special and a show on MTV (RIP Zach Stone, gone too soon)

Most popular video: His original rap "i'm bo yo" with 20 million views

11. Lucas Cruikshank

Christopher Polk / Getty Images for KCA

YouTube channel: fred

First upload: October 30, 2006 (posted on Lucas' original, deleted account; Reposted to "fred" in 2008)

Mainstream success: Three Fred movies and a Fred TV show

Most popular video: A collaboration with The Annoying Orange that has 59 million views

12. Michelle Phan

Robin Marchant / Getty Images for Sephora

YouTube channel: MichellePhan (formerly RiceBunny)

First uploaded: May 20, 2007

Mainstream success: A makeup line and spokeswoman deal with Lancôme

Most popular video: A tutorial for Barbie makeup with 47 million views

Check out Emma Blackery, the next YouTube music sensation and partner in the Level Up project:

View this video on YouTube

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!