20 YouTubers Who Actually Became Famous

Ten years ago, YouTube was just a fun place to watch cat videos. Sure, there were also a ton of makeup tutorials, funny challenges, and music covers, but no one knew it would turn into what it is today. In fact, now that it's 2017, more people than you think got their start on the platform, and went on to be totally famous on their own.

This all happened before YouTube was considered an actual career. Now, there are people who make money just by posting videos every day and working with brands, and some of them are on this list! But thanks to YouTube's ever-growing success, these creators have surpassed the platform and gone on to be celebrities outside of the platform with book, TV, music and product deals.

Perhaps the most common (and surprising!) example of this is Justin Bieber. While you may know the "Love Yourself" singer as the heartthrob, stadium-filling, Selena Gomez ex, it's his 14-year-old self who's responsible for rocketing him to stardom. Bieber, along with many other singers, sat in front of his webcam and posted covers of songs, and just happened to be discovered.

However, it's not just music. There are comedians and actors who first started uploading to YouTube for fun, as well as make up gurus who went on to have their own range of products. So the next time you think about sitting down with your camera, just know it could be your first step towards become a worldwide, unforgettable phenomenon.

Click ahead for 20 of these YouTubers who actually became famous.

Read These Stories Next:
12 Things I Learned From Bachelorette Chad's Mind-Blowing Match.com Profile
Are The Kardashians Doing Women A Disservice By Hiding Their Nannies On KUWTK?
See The Kardashians & Jenners As Disney Princesses (You Know You Want To)

Justin Bieber

Perhaps the most famous YouTube success story, Justin Bieber was just 14 when Usher discovered him singing covers on YouTube. The rest was history.
Troye Sivan

In addition to posting covers and original songs, the "YOUTH" singer used YouTube to post his funny observations and sketches.
Jake Paul

Thanks to that now-infamous interview, Jake Paul and co (Team 10) have surpassed YouTube fame and are full-on teen icons.
Tori Kelly

Tori Kelly may have been on American Idol, but she gained fame for her voice first thanks to the covers she posted on YouTube.
Shawn Mendes

Before Shawn Mendes was nominated for Best Pop Video and Best Song Of The Summer at the 2017 MTV Music Video Awards, he was singing to his webcam.
Tyler Oakley

He has a book, he has a movie, and he had a gig with Ellen. What more can you ask for?
Grace Helbig

Her chatty videos, celebrity impressions, and frequent collaborations landed this comedian her own (short-lived) show on E!
Zoe Sugg

She has a book series, a lifestyle range, and videos that regularly generated over a million views.
Hannah Hart

Her love for food in her initial YouTube series My Drunk Kitchen found a grown-up home on Food Network's I Hart Food.
Alessia Cara

You just saw her on stage at the MTV Music Video Awards, but you can catch her on YouTube six years ago doing covers of stars like Jessie J.
Pentatonix

I mean, can anything get better for an a cappella group than a cameo in Pitch Perfect 2?
Rebecca Black

"I’ll never hate that song and I’ll never again be ashamed of that song because I have no idea where I’d be without it," singer and YouTuber Rebecca Black told Refinery29 about her infamous 2011 hit, "Friday." The now-19-year-old just released her first EP.
Michelle Phan

Michelle Phan's success as a makeup guru on YouTube led to the launch of her own cosmetics line.
Darren Criss

Before starring in Glee and American Crime Story, and starting the band Computer Games with his brother, Darren Criss appeared on YouTube as Harry Potter in A Very Potter Musical.
Bo Burnham

Comedian Bo Burnham first started making people laugh back in 2007 with the original songs he uploaded to YouTube.
The Weeknd

Under the username xoxxxoooxo, Abel Tesfaye AKA The Weeknd anonymously uploaded tracks to YouTube before becoming the sensation he is today.
Austin Mahone

Mahone released his most recent song just last month, but got his start in 2011 singing and vlogging.
Dylan O'Brien

Before charming people on Teen Wolf, Dylan O'Brien was making them laugh with his goofy YouTube videos.
Greyson Chance

Greyson was thrown into the spotlight after Ellen discovered his performance of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" on YouTube.
5 Seconds Of Summer

Back in 2012, the band 5 Seconds Of Summer sat in front of a tripod and covered bands like All Time Low and Ed Sheeran.
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of celebrity news, fun takes on pop culture, and trending stories on the Refinery29 Entertainment Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!