singers 24 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: 32

Birthplace: Santa Barbara, California, United States of America

Profession: Businessperson, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Actor, Music artist, + more

Credits: The Interview, Katy Perry: Part of Me, The Ugly Truth, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

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#5 on The Best Current Female Singers

#41 on Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With

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

#63 on The Most Powerful Women In The World

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Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 24 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Singers
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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

Also Ranked

#21 on The Best Singers of All Time

#17 on The Best Current Female Singers

#6 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

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

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Gwen Stefani is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 24 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Singers
Photo: via Wikimedia
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: 47

Birthplace: Fullerton, California, United States of America

Profession: Fashion designer, Record producer, Singer-songwriter, Designer, Actor, + more

Credits: 50 First Dates, Click, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Confessions of a Shopaholic

Also Ranked

#27 on The Best Current Female Singers

#75 on The Best Female Vocalists Ever

#5 on Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With

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

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Elton John is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 24 Celebrities Who Started as Backup Singers
Photo: via Reddit
Elton John's early band Bluesology provided backup vocals and instrumentation for everyone from The Isley Brothers to Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles.

Age: 70

Birthplace: Pinner, London, United Kingdom

Profession: Record producer, Pianist, Television producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, + more

Credits: The Lion King, American Hustle, Almost Famous, Australia

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#10 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#18 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#14 on The Best Singers of All Time

#91 on The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

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