5 Celebs We Love Who Used YouTube To Launch Their Careers

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Sydney Scott Aug, 17, 2018

Social media has become a gold mine for finding the next talented singer, comedian, or Hollywood star.

Platforms, like YouTube, have made it so that underrepresented voices can create lanes of their own, growing devoted fanbases and launching careers. And, nowhere has that been more evident than YouTube.

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The video sharing platform was the launchpad for many of your favorite celebs and TV personalities, so we’ve rounded up a little list of YouTubers who left their digital mark. Maybe these names will inspire you to upload a video or two and pursue your dreams.

1. Chloe x Halle

Before they had Beyoncé’s stamp of approval, the sisters were covering their favorite songs on YouTube. Now, the ladies are signed to Bey’s Parkwood Entertainment, opening for the Carters on their On The Run II tour, and starring alongside Yara Shahidi in Freeform’s Grown-ish.

2. VanJess

Nigerian-American sisters Ivana and Jessica Nwokike, VanJess, were covering TLC’s “Waterfalls” seven years ago and now the duo is releasing their own hits. The sisters recently shared the video for “Control Me” and have worked with Masego, Goldlink, and Leikeli47.

3. Franchesca Ramsey

Ramsey has appeared on Broad City, hosted MTV’s Decoded, written for the since-canceled (and deeply missed) The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and wrote the refreshingly honest and funny Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist. But, before all that, Ramsey was working in graphic design at Ann Taylor…until she uploaded “Shit White Girls Say…to Black Girls” to YouTube and went viral overnight.

4. Issa Rae

Now, Issa Rae is a household name known for being the genius behind HBO’s Insecure. But before heading to the premium cable network, the actress and writer was sharing her web series, Awkward Black Girl, with fans on YouTube.

5. The Weeknd

Some people may not remember, but before The Weeknd was selling out shows, he was just an up-and-coming singer sharing music on the video platform under the account name “xoxxxoooxo.” We see you, Weeknd!