Musicians and artists get their start in the industry in various ways. Some make a demo and get a response, others found fame by joining reality singing contests, while others get lucky through YouTube and social media. There are now plenty of fast-and-easy ways to get your five-minute-of-fame, but some individuals had to grind — the ‘I started from the bottom and now I’m on top’ inspiring stories. One of the tried-and-tested methods is good old busking.
It is amazing how many of the world’s biggest stars started their careers by being discovered playing on the streets. Here are ten of the most inspiring stories of famous people who started their careers performing on the streets.
Rod Stewart, a legendary figure in British rock and roll, started from very humble beginnings. Rod Stewart was just any other folk singer busking around Leicester Square. Stewart, along with Wizz Jones, took their act to Brighton and then to Paris and then Barcelona. They slept under bridges in order to get by.
Tracy Chapman has a very distinctive voice and guitar act, but she started her act performing for various clubs and coffee shops, supplemented by busking in Harvard Square, Boston while a student at Tuft University.
The story goes that a fellow student heard Chapman and told his father, Charles Koppelman, who immediately signed Tracy Chapman in 1986. It was Koppelman who helped her find a recording contract with Elektra Records.