More than just the “ooo,” “aaaah,” and “yeah’s,” backup singers add a unique layer to a solo artist. In many cases, these singers are talented artists in their own right and make a living singing, if just out of the spotlight. You’ve likely heard of the singers on our list but might be surprised to learn they began as backup vocalists. We’re about to warm up and start the show. Let’s hit it!
Backup singers have essential jobs in the music industry. When a band or artist needs a little harmony or soul, these singers come in and do the job. Usually not band members, backup singers provide something extra that elevates the vocal lines.
Cher is a name you should know already. One of the few artists known simply by her first name, Cher began as a no-name singer looking for a job. After leaving her mother’s house when she was 16, Cher needed a job. She started out dancing in clubs along the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles to meet people in the entertainment industry. 1962 was the perfect time to come up in the music business in LA.
Stefani herself was dubbed the “Queen of Confessional Pop” by Rolling Stone magazine in 2000. During this time, she collaborated with Brian Setzer, Moby, and Eve. Each of these collaborations pushed her further into the stratosphere. After No Doubt, Stefani went on to solo stardom and even made her way back to No Doubt in 2014. Shortly after, she replaced Christina Aguilera on The Voice as a mentor and has appeared on eight seasons of the show.