C Is for Covers: #10YearsofYouTube

May 04, 2015

One of the most powerful ways a talented star-to-be becomes known is by putting his or her unique spin on a hit song and simply pressing "upload." Below, a few highlights from the first decade of creative covers and collaborations on YouTube:

  • In 2011, when a multi-talented couple covered Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now" with spunk and a stripped-down hip-hop sound, the world listened, lifting the duo known as Karmin to fame. Quickly after, Karmin signed to Epic Records, released an EP in 2012 that peaked at 33 on the US Album chart, and topped singles chart with "Hello" and "Brokenhearted." Still on an upward trajectory, they’ll release their second album this fall.
  • In 2012, Lindsey Stirling, a female violinist from Santa Ana, California, emerged as a rising star after collaborating with Pentatonix on a cover of the Imagine Dragons hit "Radioactive." (That was after being told she wasn’t "good enough" on "America's Got Talent," Season 5. Thank goodness that didn’t stop her.) She’s since started a channel on YouTube that’s grown into a force backed by over 6M subscribers, placing her in the top 25 trending music channels on YouTube.
  • When the songs of Frozen hit YouTube in late 2013, "Let It Go" became the anthem for people of all ages, but no one cover hit the top spot. Instead, another song from the movie -- a wistful duet between two sisters -- became one of the biggest covers in the history of YouTube. That’s thanks to a talented family and film crew called Working With Lemons. They brought that duet to life in music vid form with their rendition of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" (which is now at 139M views and counting). The family continues to cover and parody more songs from Frozen and Tangled for their 400,000+ subscribers.
Check out our Spotlight Playlist for more from YouTube’s talented collaborators and cover artists: