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19 Celebrities Who Received Their Begin on “Star Search” — Greatest Life

American Idol and The Voice could also be pipelines to stardom now, however throughout its 1983 to 1995 run, Star Search was the actuality competitors present to be on. Whether or not you had been a wannabe singer, comic, or dancer, securing a spot on the present meant that you just had been one step nearer to stardom. And even if you happen to did not win in your class, the publicity you would get from competing was usually sufficient to jumpstart your profession. Simply ask former contestants like Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Kevin James, and Drew Carey. Curious which different A-listers as soon as appeared on the present? Hold studying to find out about a number of the largest stars who received their begin on Star Search. And for acquainted faces who received their massive break later in life, listed here are 40 Stars Who Did not Grow to be Well-known Till After 40.

Justin Timberlake at the Emmy Awards

As many boy band fanatics already know, Justin Timberlake did not get his begin in *NSYNC. Relatively, a younger JT—then going by Justin Randall—really competed on Star Search in 1992, although he misplaced to Anna Nardona. His tune of selection? Alan Jackson’s “Love’s Received a Maintain on You.”

Although JT did not win Star Search, that loss might need been one of the best factor to ever occur to him. Justin Timberlake: A Biography notes that in an interview, he as soon as stated, “It is humorous. If I had gained on Star Search only one time, I’d not have made the audition [for The All-New Mickey Mouse Club]. I feel God has his grasp plan and he’ll lay it out for you. However it’s a must to stroll that highway.”

And for actors who stepped away from the enterprise, listed here are 15 Stars Who Give up Performing After Hitting It Huge.

Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, and Beyonce

In 1993, a band known as Lady’s Tyme appeared on Star Search—and misplaced. Usually the dropping group would not make historical past, however this one was an exception, seeing as two of its members had been Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland.

By 1996, Lady’s Tyme had misplaced and gained some members to develop into Future’s Youngster—and in 2000, then gained their first Grammy for “Say My Title.” The ethical of the story? You needn’t really win Star Search to succeed—you simply want to seem on it.

Britney Spears
Everett Assortment/Shutterstock

Even earlier than she was a Mouseketeer, 10-year-old Britney Spears was a contestant on Star Search again in 1992. The star-to-be misplaced to a singer named Marty Thomas, however that did not preserve her from changing into a pop sensation. To this point, she has 5 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Scorching 100 chart, to not point out a profitable fragrance model and a star on the Hollywood Stroll of Fame. Who wants a win on Star Search, anyway?

For well-known of us who received observed whereas shilling tasks, listed here are 25 Stars You Did not Know Received Their Begin in Commercials.

christina aguilera on the red carpet in 2010

Not everybody acknowledges or appreciates uncooked pure expertise when it is proper in entrance of them. Working example: In 1990, when she appeared on Star Search, a nine-year-old Christina Aguilera misplaced to a 12-year-old named Christopher Eason.

“I used to be a great sport about it. My mother made me return out and shake his hand and inform him I used to be completely satisfied he gained. Tears had been working down my face,” Aguilera informed Rolling Stone in 1999 about her Star Search expertise. Because the journal aptly put it again then, the pop star “misplaced the battle however gained the conflict.”

Young Usher Musicians Reality Show
Tsuni / USA / Alamy Inventory Picture

Although Star Search usually missed out on prime expertise, that is to not say that the present all the time received it incorrect. Actually, when 13-year-old Usher Raymond IV appeared on the truth competitors collection in 1991, he gained Greatest Teen Vocalist! His first self-titled album was launched only a few years later—and although it did not see large success, his second album, My Method, made all of it the best way to No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart. The remainder, as they are saying, is historical past.

For stars who you forgot examined their ballroom expertise, take a look at 25 Celebrities You Will not Imagine Did “Dancing With the Stars.”

Ben Bailey
Shutterstock/Kathy Hutchins

Earlier than he received behind the wheel of the Money Cab, comic (and licensed cab driver) Ben Bailey appeared on Star Search. That, together with spots on a number of different reveals, helped him finally bag the host gig for the award-winning present the place passengers reply trivia inquiries to earn cash whereas attending to their vacation spot.

Alanis Morissette in the early 2000s

You oughta know that Alanis Morissette competed on Star Search in 1990. Her tune of selection was “One Unhealthy Apple”—and although she had extra materials ready, she did not get to carry out it, seeing as she misplaced within the first spherical to a younger nation singer named Chad. Morissette wasn’t too upset about dropping, although: Based on Alanis Morissette: A Biography, “gaining publicity was the true aim.”

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LeAnn Rimes in 2002
Everett Assortment/Shutterstock

Nation singer LeAnn Rimes received her begin on Star Search at simply eight years previous. And in contrast to a number of the different celebs who appeared on the present, she really did fairly nicely: She remained the present’s champion for 2 weeks within the early ’90s, performing songs like “Do not Fear ‘Bout Me” by Marty Robbins. Just some years later in 1996, she earned her first No. 1 single with “Blue” and took the nation world by storm.

Sutton Foster

Not solely did Youthful star Sutton Foster lose on Star Search in 1990—she misplaced to future Broadway colleague, Richard H. Blake. “Each time I see him, I give him squinty eyes,” she joked about their (faux) ongoing feud throughout an look on The Late Present with Stephen Colbert.

Shutterstock/Everett Assortment

When 10-year-old Aaliyah Haughton competed on Star Search in 1990, she did not stroll away with a win. That did not matter, although: Later that yr, the long run R&B star carried out with none aside from Gladys Knight, the previous spouse of her uncle and supervisor Barry Hankerson. Just some years later in 1994, 15-year-old Aaliyah wowed the music world along with her platinum debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing However a Quantity.

Comedian Kevin James in 2006

In 1995, The King of Queens star Kevin James competed (and gained) within the present’s comedy class a number of instances. These wins weren’t what catapulted him to fame, nevertheless; his massive break got here in 1996 on the Only for Laughs Montreal comedy pageant, the place Ray Romano noticed him carry out and gave him a recurring function on All people Loves Raymond.

Marc Summers

Do not bear in mind ever seeing future Nickelodeon host Marc Summers take the Star Search stage? That is since you would have needed to bodily be at a taping to catch his act. Summers was the man who would “heat up” the studio viewers earlier than the reside present started. Based on Indiana Public Media, he was additionally the warm-up comic for tapings of Cleaning soap and Alice.

Martin Lawrence in 2006

One other comic who appeared on Star Search is Martin Lawrence. Not like James, although, Lawrence’s look on the present was sufficient to get him observed by the individuals who matter. Although he did not win on Star Search, his efficiency received the eye of Columbia Footage executives and earned him the function of Maurice Warfield on What’s Occurring Now!

David Archuleta

David Archuleta was aware of the ins and outs of actuality TV lengthy earlier than he competed on American Idol. He wasn’t on the unique Star Search, however in 2004, the “Crush” singer appeared on the short-lived Star Search reboot, successful the junior singer division with songs like “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys.

“The factor that is distinctive about David is his sense of musical styling and phrasing. The one factor that’s exhausting to show is the sense of the music, the sensation of the music and the rhythm,” Archuleta’s former vocal coach Dean Kaelin stated in an interview with the Pittsburgh Publish-Gazette. “It is intuitive. Type of like a sixth sense.”

Drew Carey on the red carpet in 2005

Comic Drew Carey is aware of competitors reveals—not simply as a number, however as a contestant as nicely. As his biography on The Worth is Proper‘s web site notes, the humorous man received his first massive break competing on Star Search in 1988. After that, he appeared on HBO’s 14th Annual Younger Comedians Particular, on The Tonight Present with Johnny Carson, and finally on his personal collection, The Good Life. By 1995, Carey had a self-titled sitcom on ABC.

Tatyana Ali in 2008

Although she’s greatest generally known as an actress, The Recent Prince of Bel-Air star Tatyana Ali really received her begin as a singer. At seven years previous, she appeared on a couple of episodes of Star Search, singing songs like “Ain’t No Mountain Excessive Sufficient” and “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?”

dave chappelle comedians

In 1993, a teenage Dave Chappelle appeared on Star Search thrice, in the end dropping to fellow comic Lester Barrie. His profession hardly suffered from this loss, although: In 2017, Forbes reported that the stand-up genius raked in $47 million.

Rosie O'Donnell

Rosie O’Donnell appeared on Star Search 5 instances, taking residence the highest prize each time she competed. Based on her web site, she used the cash she gained from the present to maneuver to Los Angeles, and from there scored her first function as Maggie O’Brien on Gimme a Break.


Earlier than changing into a family title, comic Sinbad competed on Star Search within the mid-’80s. He gained his first spherical, besting one other future success, Dennis Miller, however finally misplaced to a comic book named John Kassir. Whilst you could not acknowledge that title, you’d in all probability know his voice: Kassir is a prolific voice actor who’s performed everybody from the Cryptkeeper to Buster Bunny.

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