11 Pop Stars Who Changed Alarmingly With Fame (We See You Katy Perry!)

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Vitriol tends to flow freely from people around the world towards most of today's biggest pop stars.

At times, their upset is fitting, but often it is misplaced - soiling the names of otherwise genuine and talented individuals.

It's all too easy to slander those you know little about, and much tougher to see their humanity through dense curtains of fame and fortune.

Sometimes, it helps to know where big names and celebrated persons have come from (and just how devoted they are to their craft) to quell the deep-seated rage of our inner angry green monsters.

This list features a series of clips highlighting the surprisingly humble beginnings of 11 of this era's biggest pop stars. From young street performers and undiscovered acts to aspiring actresses, many of the musical magnates everyone loves to hate didn't start at the top...



1 0f 11 Pop Stars = Lady Gaga


Lady Gaga's over-the-top extravagance and flamboyance weren't always her strong suit.

In fact, she used to craft tunes that were decidedly smoother. She also went by her real name, Stefani Germanotta.


Lady Gaga before she was Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta)




2 0f 11 Pop Stars = Rihanna


Riri is known now, far and wide, for her many catchy singles and ubiquitous R&B tracks, but she used to grace far smaller stages with her beautiful vocal covers of classic Mariah Carey songs.

At only 15, she showed serious potential for greatness.


Rihanna at 15 singing Hero




3 0f 11 Pop Stars = Shakira


It takes quite a lot of talent to land yourself 2 consecutive record deals with Sony before turning 18.

Yet, that's just what Shakira managed to do - singing tracks off her own album "Magia" at only 13.


Shakira at 13 singing Magia (off her first album by the same name)




4 0f 11 Pop Stars = Bruno Mars


Bruno Mars has reached incredible heights as a performer and musician, but few know just how long he's been entertaining.

His musical history goes as far back as age 6, when he performed as Hawaii's youngest Elvis impersonator.

The memories must be close to his heart as he's held onto a few of the King's elements of style ever since.


Bruno Mars (Peter Gene Hernandez) at 6 as Hawaii's youngest Elvis Impersonator




5 0f 11 Pop Stars = Beyonce


Beyonce rose to fame as a member of Destiny's Child, but she's been singing on stage since she herself was a child.

At only 7 years of age, she was crowned Baby Junior Champion. We won't pretend to know what that actually is, but she sure could sing!


Beyonce as Baby Junior Champion at 7




6 0f 11 Pop Stars = Christina Aguilera


Christina Aguilera's musical steps date back to her infancy, as this stellar performance by none other than her 8-year-old self clearly denotes.

Her stage presence, even at this young age, is undeniable.


Christina Aguilera; 8 years old on Star Search




7 0f 11 Pop Stars = Nicki Minaj


People seem to think that Nicki popped out of thin air one day as a runaway star, but that isn't really the case.

Turns out she's spent a considerable amount of time training formally as an actress. At least, enough to end up as a memorable highlight in a certain school's documentary.


Nicki Minaj as an acting student (a.k.a. angry phone girl)




8 0f 11 Pop Stars = Justin Bieber


Justin Bieber is no stranger to haters - serving as the butt of the entire Internet community's ongoing stream of jokes.

Often cited as being relatively talentless, it might interest doubters to see him demonstrating some serious talent at the early age of 7 - playing an acoustic guitar as big as himself and singing loudly in some nondescript public space. Credit where credit is due...


Justin Bieber as a young street performer




9 0f 11 Pop Stars = Jay Z


Anyone who claims to know Hip Hop (and a great many who don't) likely knows the name Jay-Z.

He's managed to reach extraordinary heights throughout his rapping career, but he had an interesting time initially getting his foot in the door.

His first televised rap saw him alongside Big Daddy Kane during an interview, but he wasn't even mentioned by name!


Jay Z's first televised rap (with Big Daddy Kane on the right)




10 0f 11 Pop Stars = Mariah Carey


Mariah Carey's success as a singer is astounding - having set the enduring record for time spent on the Billboard top 100 with her song "One Sweet Day."

It may come as quite a surprise to see her singing backup for Brenda K Starr near the start of her career.


Mariah Carey singing backup for Brenda K Starr




11 0f 11 Pop Stars = Katy Perry


Almost everyone knows Katy Perry, but few remember Katy Hudson, the young Alt. Rock teen singer who "knew who she was following."

Her transformation into the pop icon she is today is easily the most jarring on this list, thanks to the drastic genre switch.


Katy Perry before she was Katy Perry (Katy Hudson)



There you have it. 11 reasons to take a deeper look at the world's biggest pop stars.

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