Entertainment

13 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Dancers 

Ranker Music
Updated June 14, 2019 24.7k views 13 items

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:  dvsross/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
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."

Born: 1969-07-24

Age: 49

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

More Jennifer Lopez 

#53 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #150 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever The Best Jennifer Lopez Songs

Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 13 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Dancers
Photo:  Zennie Abraham/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
Tupac Shakur started his career as a backup dancer for the 1990s hip hop group Digital Underground.

Born: 1971-06-16

Age: Dec. at 25 (1971-1996)

Birthplace: East Harlem, New York City, USA, New York

More Tupac Shakur 

#216 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #313 of 1,042 The Best Singers of All Time A Timeline Of How Biggie And Tupac's Friendship Turned Into An Infamous Feud

Madonna is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 13 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Dancers
Photo:  David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
Madonna was a backup singer and dancer for Patrick Hernandez in 1979.

Born: 1958-08-16

Age: 60

Birthplace: Bay City, Michigan, United States of America

More Madonna 

#27 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #78 of 1,042 The Best Singers of All Time The Best Madonna Albums of All Time

Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 13 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Dancers
Photo:  David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
Mariah Carey was a backup singer and dancer for Brenda Starr in the late 1980s.

Born: 1970-03-27

Age: 48

Birthplace: Huntington, New York, United States of America

More Mariah Carey 

#10 of 119 Current Singers You Most Wish You Could Sound Like #4 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever The Best Mariah Carey Songs of All Time