Singers 20 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Singers  

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This list of celebrities who started as backup singers is loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Several now-famous musicians started their careers in the entertainment industry as backup singers. A few of these talented singers went on to become some of the biggest pop stars of all time. One famous backup singer, Whitney Houston, is a Grammy-winning musician and Oscar-winning actress.

Who is the most famous person who started as a backup singer? Mariah Carey tops this list. Carey was a backup singer and dancer for Brenda Starr in the late 1980s, which proves that celebrities who were once backup singers can be just as talented as anyone who shot to the top. 

Grammy-winning singer and Oscar-winning actress Cher sang backup on the studio recordings for the Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers. Sheryl Crow got her start as a backup vocalist for one of the most famous pop stars of all time. Click through the list below to find out who.

Are you surprised that so many superstars started as backup singers? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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Before she was pop star Katy Perry, Katy Hudson was a backup vocalist for P.O.D. She even appears in their 2006 video for "Goodbye for Now."

Age: 34

Birthplace: Santa Barbara, California, United States of America

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Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Singers
Photo:  Colin Pumfrett/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Mariah Carey was a backup singer and dancer for Brenda Starr in the late 1980s.

Age: 48

Birthplace: Huntington, New York, United States of America

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Gwen Stefani is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 20 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Singers
Photo:  vassild/Twitter
Gwen Stefani first joined No Doubt as a backup singer. After lead singer John Spence committed suicide in 1987, a devastated Stefani pulled herself up and into the spotlight.

Age: 49

Birthplace: Fullerton, California, United States of America

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Elton John is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 20 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Singers
Photo: U.S. Embassy photographer/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Elton John's early band Bluesology provided backup vocals and instrumentation for everyone from The Isley Brothers to Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles.

Age: 71

Birthplace: Pinner, London, United Kingdom

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