There's an old adage that goes "no man is an island" and that could not be more true in the music world. No matter how talented you are, its nearly impossible to break into the industry all on your own. Everyone needs someone to show them the ropes, or simply open the door to a successful career. Here are five musicians who were discovered or mentored by other famous names.
1. John Lennon - David Bowie
considered John Lennon to be one of the biggest influencers throughout his career. Towards the beginning of his career, David was finding it difficult to break into the American market. It didn't seem to him like people in the States really understood him: his sound, his message, his appearance. But it was John Lennon who told him not to give up, that sooner or later, the whole world would be singing along with the Starman. Lennon also co-wrote one of David's biggest singles, "Fame," and upon his death, Lennon's widow Yoko Ono said that David "was like family" to her and John.
2. Akon and Elton John - Lady Gaga
had been performing and writing music long before the world came to know her as Mother Monster. In 2008, Lady Gaga was writing hits for all the biggest artists at the time, Akon included. Stefani Germonatta, as she was still known then, sang a bit of a song she had written for Akon, so he could get an idea of how it was supposed to sound. He was taken aback by her vocal talent, and helped to get her a record deal. A few months later, her first single "Just Dance" hit the radio.
While Akon is the one who launched Gaga's career, Elton John
is the one who helped shape her into the extravagant artist we know. From songwriting tips, to owning your stage presence, Elton John has advised Gaga on all aspects of her career. He also helped her to get sober following a two year battle with drug addiction. The two are incredibly close, and have collaborated multiple times for songs and performances. Gaga is also the godmother of Elton John's son.
3. Jay-Z - Kanye West
One of the biggest beefs in hip-hop right now is between Kanye West
. Hov and Ye were once the best of friends, with Kanye even going as far to stand-up for Jay's girl in a now infamous rant at the VMAs. In recent years, the two have drifted apart as friends, but Kanye will forever be in debt to Jay for giving him his shot at stardom. Kanye got his start as a rapper after being enlisted to produce songs for Roc-A-Fella Records, a label co-founded by Jay. After a few years of being one of the top producers at the label, Kanye was finally signed on as an artist. The two collabed multiple times over the years, and have put out some incredible songs together. Fingers crossed they find their way back to BFFS, but until then let's keep enjoying the tracks that are arising from this feud between Father and Son.
4. Kanye West - John Legend
What goes around, comes around. After getting his start from Jay, Kanye went on to help everyone's favorite crooner, John Legend
find his footing. John was a child prodigy, but he wasn't succeeding at finding his audience as an adult. His college roommate introduced him to his cousin, Kanye, and the two became fast friends. Through Kanye, John got to play for giants like Alicia Keys
and Janet Jackson
. But it was his collaboration with Ye on The College Dropout
that really gave John his start, and his debut album, Get Lifted
, was the first album released on Kanye's label, G.O.O.D. Records. Thanks, Kanye, for making John into the Legend
5. Dr. Dre - Kendrick Lamar
The only person who has brought more artists to the spotlight than Jay-Z is Dr. Dre
. One of the biggest artists launched by Dre is Compton-native Kendrick Lamar
. Dr. Dre saw one of Kendrick's videos on Youtube, and instantly recognized his talent. He said in a radio interview that he wanted to work with Lamar, and his wish came true, and the two collaborated on Dre's Detox,
but that album is yet to be released, despite it being in the works since 2001. In 2012, Lamar was signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment in a joint deal with Interscope Records. And now, Kendrick's "Humble" is all over the radio.