- Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Pandora Media Inc.
- Sometimes budding musicians can push their music into the spotlight using their reality TV fame.
- In other cases, musicians head to reality TV competition shows to try to form a band or rise to fame.
- Kelly Osbourne, Usher, and Paris Hilton all have music careers and reality TV roots.
Over the years, competition shows have become a popular way for singers and performers to go from ordinary, everyday people to household stars. Even though shows like “Star Search” and “Showtime at the Apollo” dominated the late ’80s and ’90s, the market has since expanded and created many opportunities for singers to follow their dreams.
On the other hand, reality television as a whole has created avenues for its stars to step into the spotlight as singers – even if it’s initially unexpected. And while it may work out fantastically for some at the start of their career, it may take a little longer to get the traction needed to become a certified star.
Here are 10 musicians who have roots in reality TV.
Kelly Osbourne debuted her album while on a show about her family.
Before she was known as the fashion icon she is today, Kelly Osbourne and her family were stars of the MTV show “The Osbournes.” During the show’s debut season in 2002, the youngest Osbourne daughter released her punk-rock debut album titled “Shut Up.”
In 2005, Osbourne gave music another spin and released her sophomore album “Sleeping in the Nothing,” which was a complete change in sound from her previous release.
Miguel auditioned for a musical group in 2005 on a BET TV show.
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Grammy-winning artist Miguel may be a big name in R&B today, but back in 2005, he was just starting his musical career.
Miguel appeared in BET’s first run at making a music group with the show “Blowin’ Up! Fatty Koo” and the debut album “House of Fatty Koo” that spawned from it. What you may not have known is Miguel actually auditioned for this group in 2005.
Miguel showed up late to his audition and he was criticized by the group’s members for his voice and overconfidence. Although he didn’t make the cut then, just two years later, the singer signed a deal with the now-defunct Jive Records. And in 2010, he released his debut album “All I Want Is You.”
Miguel has released five studio albums to date.
Danity Kane was created on an MTV series.
Before famed artist Diddy introduced the world to Revolt TV, he was rocking with another station: MTV. Taking over the “Making the Band” franchize after Lou Pearlman and his created group O-Town moved on to other projects, Diddy went on to assemble the now-defunct group Da Band.
In 2005, Diddy came back with the intention to find the next female supergroup for “Making the Band 3.” It was in season two of this installment that the group Danity Kane was born.
Originally consisting of members Dawn Richard, Aubrey O’Day, Shannon Bex, Aundrea Fimbres, and Wanita “D. Woods” Woodgett, the group released their chart-topping self-titled debut album in 2006. Their sophomore album, “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” was released in 2008 and also topped the charts and made the group become the first female group in Billboard history to debut their first two albums at the top spot.
Since their disbandment in 2009, the group has gotten back together numerous times, released at a third album, “DK3” – which only features Richard, O’Day, and Bex as vocalists.
Day26 was also created on an MTV series.
After Danity Kane wrapped up three seasons of their “MTB” experience, Diddy came back to replicate the success by making an all-male supergroup for “Making the Band 4.” Finalizing the five-person line-up at the end of season one, Robert Curry, Willie Taylor, Brian Angel, Qwanell Mosley, and Michael McCluney went on to become the group now known as Day26.
During their time signed under Diddy’s Bad Boy label, Day26 went on to release two albums – “Day26” and “Forever in a Day” – which debuted at the top and secondary spots on the charts, respectively. Although they officially disbanded in 2012, the group has since reunited and released a new project titled “A New Day” (without Angel) and have been touring.
Brooke Hogan has starred in a few MTV shows and has released multiple albums and EPs.
Even though Brooke Hogan’s musical career technically began before she was on the 2005 reality TV show “Hogan Knows Best,” it was because of the show that her songs were pushed into the spotlight. Releasing her debut album “Undiscovered” in 2006 – which hosted the Paul Wall featured lead single “About Us” – Brooke was projected to become a promising reality star and musical act.
In 2007, however, “Hogan Knows Best” was canceled due to issues with her immediate family and she began starring in her own spin-off “Brooke Knows Best.” The show only lasted for two seasons during which she released her sophomore album “Redemption.”
Since then, she has released two EPs titled “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” (2015) and “So Many Summers” (2018).
Paris Hilton has released plenty of singles since her reality TV debut.
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Known as the revivalist of the “famous for being famous” phenom in the 2000s, Paris Hilton became famous for something when she and longtime friend Nicole Richie starred in the Fox/E! series, “The Simple Life.” Even though the series ended after five seasons, the reality star went on to release her debut album (and only album to date), “Paris.”
The album’s debut single “Stars Are Blind” became one of the highest debut singles of 2006. The album itself peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 chart. And while we haven’t gotten a follow-up album from Hilton, she released the singles “Good Time” feat. Lil Wayne (2013), “Come Alive” (2014), “High Off My Love” feat. Birdman (2015) and “I Need You” (2018).
Nicole Scherzinger got her start on reality TV.
Although she’s now well-known for being a judge on the UK’s “The X Factor,” Nicole Scherzinger was once a reality TV competitor herself. Appearing on the US installment of the 2001 show “Popstars,” the singer would go on to be chosen as a member of the short-lived group Eden’s Crush.
The aptly titled debut album “Popstars” was certified gold and featured the single “Get Over Yourself.” The label they were signed to, however, folded just a year after the album released and the group disbanded. Just a few short years later though, Scherzinger found fame as the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls and became one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time releasing two albums in 2005 (“PCD”) and 2008 (“Doll Domination”).
After the group’s disbandment in 2010, Scherzinger went on to release her debut album “Killer Love” and its follow-up “Big Fat Lie.”
Alanis Morissette didn’t win when she was on “Star Search.”
Prior to becoming a chart-topping musician, singer Alanis Morissette got her start when she appeared on the long-running show, “Star Search” in 1990. Only 14 years old at the time, Morissette – who donned big hair and sang a pop tune for her appearance – lost to her opponent. That, however, did not deter her from pursuing music.
Morissette released her self-titled debut pop-dance album in 1991 and its follow-up of the same genre, “Now Is The Time” in 1992 – both to mild reviews. It wouldn’t be until 1995 though that she received worldwide fame with her album “Jagged Little Pill,” which was led by the single “You Oughta Know,” and has become one of the best-selling albums of all time. She has released eight albums overall.
Usher was also not the victor during his time on “Star Search.”
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Recording artist Usher may be a household name today, but back in 1991, he was just another contestant on “Star Search.” And while he may have lost the battle that night, he ultimately won the war because the 13-year-old’s performance caught the attention of music executive L.A. Reid. The singer then went on to release his debut album “Usher” in 1994 and catapulted into fame with his 1997 sophomore album “My Way.”
Since his loss on “Star Search,” he has gone on to released eight studio albums – including 2004’s iconic “Confessions” album – has appeared in over a dozen films, won eight Grammy Awards, and much more.
Cardi B was on a VH1 series for two seasons.
Introduced as a “regular, degular, schmegular girl from the Bronx” Cardi B joined the cast of VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: New York” in 2015 during season six. She quickly became a fan favorite and after two seasons she left the show. In 2017, she released her debut single “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” and it topped the charts.
She’s since released an album, “Invasion of Privacy,” and it debuted at number one on Billboard album charts.
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