celebrities 13 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Dancers  

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This list of celebrities who started as backup dancers is loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Several famous actors and musicians started their careers in the entertainment industry as backup dancers. A few of these talented dancers went on to become some of the biggest pop stars of all time. One famous backup dancer is well known for his gritty performances on dark HBO dramas.

Who is the most famous person who started as a backup dancer? Jennifer Lopez tops this list. In 1991, Lopez performed as a backup dancer for New Kids on the Block. She went on to become a Fly Girl dancer on the popular sketch comedy series "In Living Color." “Material Girl” singer Madonna was also a backup singer and dancer, she worked with Patrick Hernandez in 1979.

The Wire and Boardwalk Empire actor Michael K. Williams previously worked as a backup dancer for Madonna and Tupac Shakur. Shakur also started his own career as a backup dancer.

Are you surprised that so many superstars started as backup dancers? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Jennifer Lopez is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 13 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Dancers
Photo: via Wikimedia
In 1991, Jennifer Lopez performed as a backup dancer for New Kids on the Block. She went on to become a Fly Girl dancer on the popular sketch comedy series "In Living Color."

Age: 47

Birthplace: Castle Hill, New York City, New York, United States of America

Profession: Film Score Composer, Fashion designer, Record producer, Businessperson, Songwriter, + more

Credits: Out of Sight, Maid in Manhattan, Monster-in-Law, American Idol

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Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 13 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Dancers
Photo: via Pinterest
Tupac Shakur started his career as a backup dancer for the 1990s hip hop group Digital Underground.

Age: Died at 25 (1971-1996)

Birthplace: East Harlem, New York City, New York, United States of America

Profession: Record producer, Poet, Songwriter, Rapper, Screenwriter, + more

Credits: Django Unchained, Blood Diamond, Training Day, 8 Mile

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#32 on The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

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Madonna is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 13 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Dancers
Photo: via Pinterest
Madonna was a backup singer and dancer for Patrick Hernandez in 1979.

Age: 58

Birthplace: Bay City, Michigan, United States of America

Profession: Record producer, Entrepreneur, Singer-songwriter, Film Producer, Screenwriter, + more

Credits: Madonna: Truth or Dare, Desperately Seeking Susan, Dick Tracy, Evita

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#34 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#50 on The Best Singers of All Time

#21 on The Best Current Female Singers

#24 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

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Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 13 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Dancers
Photo: via Tumblr
Mariah Carey was a backup singer and dancer for Brenda Starr in the late 1980s.

Age: 47

Birthplace: Huntington, New York, United States of America

Profession: Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, Film Producer, Model, + more

Credits: Oz the Great and Powerful, Love Actually, Rush Hour, Men in Black

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#21 on The Best Singers of All Time

#18 on The Best Current Female Singers

#6 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

#24 on The Female Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

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