We’re taking a look at the celebrities who made it big after starting off as backup singers.

Backup Singers Who Made it Big was originally published on

1. Faith Evans

Faith Evans

Faith sang backup for Usher and Mary J. Blige.

2. John Legend

John Legend

John was Kanye West’s go to background singer on most of his early albums.

3. Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

Whitney famously sang backup for Lou Rawls, Jermaine Jackson and Chaka Khan.

4. Tamar Braxton

Tamar Braxton

Tamar famously sung backup for her older sister, Toni.

5. Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige

Blige was a backup singer to new-jack-swing singer Jeff Redd.

6. Anthony Hamilton

Anthony Hamilton

Hamilton was a background singer for fellow soul crooner D’ Angelo.

7. Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey

Mariah was a backup singer for 1980’s star Brenda Starr, Starr is also cited as being the reason behind MC’s break after she gave Tommy Mottola her demo tape. (AP)

8. Keri Hilson

Keri Hilson

Hilson was a backup singer for producer Anthony Dent. She also did background vocals for Usher, Kelly Rowland, Ludacris and Ciara.

9. Lisa Fischer

Lisa Fischer

Fischer was a background singer for Luther Vandross and Tina Turner before she started her short-lived but very successful solo career. Fischer quit her solo career to return to backup singing.

10. Vesta Williams

Vesta Williams

The late Vesta Williams was a backgound singer for Anita Baker, Sting, Chaka Khan and others.

11. Vivian Green

Vivian Green

Vivian Green got her break as a background singer for Jill Scott.

12. Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross

Vandross was a background vocalist for various artists including David Bowie, Chaka Khan, Diana Ross and more.