The music biz is a revolving door of talent and of course talentless hacks that never get off the ground, and to call it “cut-throat” may just be an understatement! Many talented people are left without a record deal, label, or a penny to their name, thus the dream is forced to subside. This list countdowns the top artists to suck it up and pay their dues by singing backup before cleaning up as leading male and female vocalists.
15. Keri Hilson
Keri Hilson has sung backup for the likes of Usher, Toni Braxton, and Ludacris, and has written songs for artists including Britney Spears and Mary J. Blige. Her big break when she appeared on Timberland’s single “The Way I Are,” which was a smash hit the world over. Her debut album In a Perfect World debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 Chart. She released another studio album the following year in 2010. She has received several awards and countless nominations. Her collaboration with fellow artists, makes this performer a true leading lady.James Atoa/Everett Collection