With social media nowadays, almost anyone can become a celebrity practically overnight. While there may be downsides to this, the biggest advantage remains that talented individuals now have more means of exposing their talent and ideas to the world. Here are five people who became famous solely from social media.
Number 1 – Justin Bieber. Now a world-famous pop-star, only a few years ago Justin Bieber was just a teenage boy that shared a song with the world. He uploaded a video to YouTube and rapidly became an internet sensation. It wasn’t long before he became even more famous for his personal life, including his trouble with the law, his love life, and his fortune. Nowadays there probably isn’t anyone left that doesn’t who Justin Bieber is.
Number 2 – Park Jae-sang. You might not recognize that name, but you’ve probably heard the song “Gangnam Style” a hundred times before, and now it’s going to be stuck in your head all day. You’re welcome! Park Jae-sang, also known by his stage name PSY, released the catchy pop hit on YouTube in July of 2012, and it song went viral almost instantly. As of this writing, the video boasts over 2 billion – that’s right, billion – hits on YouTube and PSY has continued to move forward with his music career.
Number 3 – Jon Lajoie. Another celebrity born through YouTube. Not previously well-known, this hilarious comedian, actor, and musician gained an internet following after uploading a series of comedy skits and parody songs to his YouTube channel. His career is now more lucrative that ever, both as a comedian and an actor on the FX series The League.
Number 4 – Sean Kingston. This reggae and dancehall musician was discovered via MySpace after uploading some of his music. He was signed by a record label and a few of his songs became incredibly popular for his catchy and unique style of music. He is still a prolific musician and has gone on to work with many other big names in the business.
Number 5 – Karen Klein. Karen Klein was a school-bus monitor and became famous not for her talents, but rather for a shocking video in which four seventh-grade kids were exposed for their cruel bullying of Karen. Uploaded to YouTube, it was a painful and tear-jerking video and Karen became an internet celebrity after the video gained popularity. Karen went on to be on the news on many television channels, was interviewed, and a donation fundraiser was created for her to compensate for her ordeal. The bullying children eventually apologized for their behavior after the video gained notoriety, but the video remains online and is no less painful to watch today than it was when it was fresh.
Online social media has turned into an effective means of spreading media, talent and ideas to the world, a feat that was previously challenging if not impossible for many. While some people that become internet-famous end up a mostly unanimous target for the critics inside all of us (I won’t name any names!), many other people can unleash their talents or send out a message and gain a wider audience than ever before. These are just five of those people, so who’s to say you might not end up the next internet sensation?