Many of today’s brightest stars began their careers on social media. They created content that stood out above the rest, and they grew their massive fanbases… all by themselves. Those that took to the stage or were nominated at Tuesday night’s American Music Awards were no exception. Here’s a look at where some of the biggest names of the evening got their start:

Dua Lipa

Nominated in the New Artist of the Year category, Dua Lipa performed “One Kiss” and “Electricity” as part of the show’s firing lineup.

“When people used to ask what I wanted to be I’d always say a singer, but I never thought it was a real job. I thought it was as far-fetched as cartoon characters on TV”, Dua was once quoted. She started out by posting YouTube covers from her friend’s bedroom. Though she was not technically “discovered” on YouTube, sharing covers with her fans ultimately helped her create a public portfolio and she was quickly signed to Warner Bros. Records.

Shawn Mendes

This year’s winner of Favorite Artist in the Adult Contemporary category – up against powerhouse vocalists Pink and Ed Sheeran – initially found stardom by posting 6-second song covers on Vine. A video he uploaded covering Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me” went viral, and similarly to Bieber himself, caught the eyes and ears of just the right people.

To this day, Mendes maintains a special connection with his fans, often performing exclusive pre-show “Shawn Access” sets before he hits a main stage.

Speaking of his rise to fame via social media, Mendes once told Rolling Stone: ““I was always [online],” Mendes says while safely tucked backstage after the mayhem he caused outside. Muffled screams can still be heard from his dressing room. “I was one of those kids who was just always on the Internet, always on YouTube, so it was easy for me to do it. It’s not work. It’s just fun.”

“I was consistent with these six-second videos of me singing on YouTube, on Twitter, on Instagram,” he explains. “[I was] posting pictures all the time. I kinda didn’t know what I was doing, but I was doing something.”

Kane Brown

Country music singer Kane Brown, Tuesday’s winner of Favorite Country Album, also started out creating homemade covers to share on Facebook and other social media platforms.  His covers of country greats including George Strait, Billy Currington, Alan Jackson and others, as well as his own singles, quickly and consistently racked up millions of views.

What started as 3,000 of his friends and family on Facebook alone, is now at more than 3 million and counting. And that’s just Facebook.



The stories of many, many artists today – on any stage – are similar to these. Social media has opened the doors for those with dreams to create and share their passion with the world, delivering it instantaneously to fans who are hungry for more.

Our mission at BYGMusic is to help empower the many talented musicians out there who are just starting out; those who have finally discovered who they are and who they want to be; and those who are this close to their first big break.