14 Famous Musicians Who Discovered Other Artists

It makes some sense to me, that people who love and trade in music would be good at picking out and fostering other talent. They have an ear for it, after all, so why not bring more beautiful music into the world, right?

These 14 famous musicians were definitely down with that idea, and ended up discovering other artists that went on to have great success!

14. Ellen discovered Charlie Puth.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

She discovered the singer on YouTube and signed him to her label, though he jumped to Atlantic Records before landing a hit with “See You Again.”

13. Beyonce discovered Chloe and Halle Bailey.

Image Credit: YouTube

Beyonce’s team discovered the crooning sisters after they covered one of her songs, “Pretty Hurts,” on YouTube.

Their success skyrocketed after she signed them to her management team.

12. M.I.A. and Diplo discovered each other?

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Diplo produced some of M.I.A.’s early songs, and the two also dated in the early aughts.

M.I.A. wrote in an Instagram post that their meeting where he “discovered” her wasn’t an accident.

“This is the first story of a brown female musician who smashed it for the first time…that didn’t happen because I accidentally walked passed Diplo.”

She says she discovered him, finding out where he was appearing and paying her way in to meet him.

11. OutKast’s Big Boi discovered Janelle Monae.

Image Credit: Tankboy

They met at an open mic night and he invited her to collaborate on Got Purp? Vol. II.

Her work on the album caught the attention of Sean “Puffy” Combs and the rest is history!

10. Fall Out Boy discovered Panic! at the Disco.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Pete Wentz ran across the bands online demos and signed them, sight unseen.

Literally, they had not played a single public gig at the time.

9. One Direction discovered 5SOS.

Image Credit: Fiona McKinlay

Niall Horan says they discovered the group on YouTube and knew they’d found something special.

The two groups soon appeared on tour together.

8. Lil Wayne discovered Nicki Minaj.

Image Credit: Rory

It was actually Dirty Money CEO Fendi who passed Minaj’s name along to Lil Wayne, though he claims to have heard some of her stuff already.

Lil Wayne and Nicki made some mixtapes together, which helped propel her debut album to success.

7. Drake discovered The Weeknd.

Image Credit: David Hwang

One of Drake’s associates was in the audience of a The Weeknd performance at the University of Toronto, and afterward a single tweet from Drake caused them to blow up.

In a good way.

6. Jamie Foxx discovered Ed Sheeran.

Image Credit: Harald Krichel

Sheeran attended Foxx’s Los Angeles radio show and blew the actor away to the point where he allowed Ed to crash on his couch for 6 weeks.

He also took him to an open mic night that was a huge success – though Sheeran also owes much success to Taylor Swift, who hired him as the opening act on her Red tour.

5. Dr. Dre discovered Eminem.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Eminem was performing at the Rap Olympics when an intern from Interscope Records heard him and was impressed.

He passed along the CD to Jimmy Iovine, who played it for Dr. Dre, who loved it immediately.

4. Jay-Z helped discover Rihanna.

Image Credit: Kia C.

Record producer Evan Rogers first met 15-year-old Rihanna on vacation in Barbados, and he sent her demo to Jay-Z at Def Jam Records.

He flew her to NYC and refused to let her leave until she’d signed with him.

3. Akon discovered Lady Gaga.

Image Credit: proacguy1

Gaga was a songwriter at Interscope Records, once upon a time (in 2008) and Akon heard a reference vocal. He signed her and her first album released that same year.

2. And The Fugees discovered Akon.

Image Credit: Julien Jaubert

Akon explained “The Fugees is how I came into the business…When I moved to New Jersey, the Fugees became my family…that was like my clique, I was a part of the original refugee camp.”

They featured him on their 1995 EP.

1. Usher discovered Justin Bieber.

Image Credit: Heather Sokol

Though Bieber was initially discovered by Scooter Braun, Usher was the one who “ushered in” (ha) Justin’s mainstream success.

They jumped into a lasting (and lucrative) mentee/protege relationship.

I had no idea about any of these, and I love it!

Is there someone missing from this list? Tell us who in the comments!