8 Of The Greatest Musical Child Prodigies
Céline Dion was discovered at the tender age of 12, while MJ became lead singer of The Jackson 5 aged 8! But which other stars started out young? Let us know if any of them surprise you...
1. Aretha Franklin, 14
Our Queen of Soul began her career as a child in the New Bethel Baptist Church gospel choir, and released her first album "Songs of Faith" aged only 14. In 1967 Franklin achieved her first US No.1 with "Respect". Show 'em how it's done, Aretha!
2. Gareth Gates, 17
In 2002, this popstar became the youngest male solo artist to score a UK No.1 with his debut single “Unchained Melody”. He was 17 years old and had won second place on the show “Pop Idol”. What’s more, this was the 4th time that the song had been at No.1 in the UK!
3. Stevie Wonder, 11
This child prodigy got signed to MoTown Tamla’s label aged 11! By the age of 13, he had earned his first No.1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with ‘Fingertips’, making him the youngest artist ever to top the chart. Still in the industry aged 63, Stevie’s had a pretty impressive career!
4. Janet Jackson, 7
Janet began very young, performing in Las Vegas at the MGM Casino at the age of only 7. After pursuing an acting career for a while in "The Jacksons" and the sitcom "Good Times", she recorded her first song with her brother Randy, age 12. Seeing the success of The Jackson 5, Janet arranged aged 16 a contract with A&M Records, who she released two albums with. Success was definitely in that girl's genes!
5. Céline Dion, 12
When music manager René Angélil was sent a tape of 12-year-old Céline singing, he was brought to tears by her voice and mortgaged his home to fund the costs of her first record! By the next year, the singer had won awards at the Yamaha World Popular Song Festival. She even won the Eurovision song contest in 1988 for Switzerland!
6. Dido, 6
This British singer-songwriter entered the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at age six. Six! We were probably still dribbling into our bibs then…
7. Michael Jackson, 8
The King of Pop and his older brother Jermaine became lead singers of The Jackson 5 when Michael was only 8. He later went solo and achieved his first solo No.1 at the age of 13 with "Got to Be There". Michael had a net worth of over $1 billion at the end of his career… now that’s a child prodigy all right!
8. Elvis Presley, 13
The King himself was 19 when he first made the charts with his No.1 album “Elvis”, but first began his career as a rock star at the tender age of 13 when he began working with Sam Phillips at Sun Records. His distinctive voice, energetic performances and sex appeal made him a massive heartthrob and rock-and-roll icon. He even managed to get 4 No.1 albums and singles after the millennium, long after his death in 1977. Now that’s what you call leaving a mark…