Lennon and Maisy Stella
Harnessing incredible harmonies and all the musical potential of what look like two plastic butter containers, sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella, 12 and 8 years old, respectively, have taken YouTube by storm. In three days, their cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” has amassed more than 1 million hits. Ellen, anyone?
There are few things cuter than a little kid killing it on the ukulele. Except maybe when that kid is wearing a bright orange shirt, glasses too big for his face, and a contagious smile. Aidan Powell’s rendition of Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” at the 2010 Ukulele Festival in Hawaii scored him more than 13 million views on YouTube and a chance to play with uke virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro.
With nothing more than a keyboard and her soulful singing, Canadian 10-year-old Maria Aragon vaulted into the limelight with her cover of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” in February 2011. She has since appeared on Ellen, starred in a Gap Kids commercial, recorded an album, and even performed with Gaga herself at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.
Sophia Grace and Rosie
Tutued toddlers with attitude Sophia Grace and Rosie charmed the world by rapping Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” back in September 2011. About a month later, they were rocking the stage on Ellen and later served as the comedienne’s chief Grammy correspondents. Not bad for a couple of girls from Essex, England.
On New Year’s Eve of 2010, Jorge Narvaez posted a video of him and his daughter Alexa singing “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Alexa sat propped against his guitar in an adorable purple-and-white-striped long sleeve shirt—with a smiling snowman smack in the middle—and belted out the catchy melody. The year that began the next day changed in an instant: an appearance on Ellen, a feature on Univision, and Alexa having to leave the Boys and Girls Club because she was too famous. The duo are now contenders on this season of America's Got Talent.
Sixth-grade music festivals usually suck. But when Greyson Chance sat down at the piano and performed Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" in April 2010, he kick-started a music career. His original take on the pop cover has garnered close to 50 million views on YouTube, got him onto Ellen (I’m sensing a pattern here), and gave him the push he needed to record an album, Hold on 'Til the Night.
It’s true: YouTube is to blame for Justin Bieber’s meteoric rise. Not five years ago, the Biebz was just a cute kid from Stratford, Ontario, strumming on a guitar twice his size. Today, he is arguably the biggest pop sensation in the world.