Back That Thang Up: 15 Celebrities You Never Knew Started Out As Background Singers

- By Bossip Staff
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Back That Thang Up: 15 Celebrities You Never Knew Started Out As Background Singers

Several famous singers today started out by lending vocals on songs or on tour with other known acts. Some of the following celebrities have even surpassed the fame of their former bosses. Did you know these celebs started out in the background?

Hit the jump to see a list of celebrities you never knew started out as background singers.

Brandy & Ray J

The brother and sister sang back up for the super-group “Immature” in the 90’s.

Ty Dollar Sign 

Another fun fact involving “Immature,” Ty Dolla Sign played the keyboard in the background for them on tour as a child.

Mariah Carey

Mariah sang back up for Brenda Starr in the 80’s.

Whitney Houston

Whitney first sang behind Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls before working on her solo career.

Mary J Blige

The “Real Love” singer backed up many lesser known Uptown artists before making her name famous.

Keri Hilson

Keri sang backup for Britney Spears and penned two of her songs on her album “Black Out”.

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    Sevyn Streeter

    Sevyn has sung in the background and on more than a few tracks for Chris Brown.

    John Legend

    John Legend started off singing and writing hooks for Kanye West before his big debut.

    Faith Evans

    Faith came to Bad Boy records as a backup singer for Mary J. Blige and Usher.

    Luther Vandross

    Luther started off his career as a song writer and backup vocalist for big singers like Diana Ross and David Bowie.

    Anthony Hamilton

    The soul singer started off as a background singer for D’Angelo in his 20’s.

    Angie Stone

    Angie Stone also sang background for D’Angelo as well as penning some of his music.

    Lenny Kravitz

    Lenny surprisingly sang on Madonna’s “Justify My Love” in the background.


    The singer had a gig singing background at a club in Philly as a teen.

    Christina Milian

    The singer added background vocals to Jennifer Lopez’s “Play” and also co-wrote the song in 2001.

     Photos by Wenn/Getty

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