Top 5 musicians who have taken YouTube by storm

For people aspiring to make it in the music world, it has always been a widely accepted fact that you have to get signed to a record label in order to achieve fame. Recently, however, more and more people are making a career out of posting music on the popular video sharing website YouTube. Here are the top five musicians creating a living on YouTube.

Listen to the recommended songs as you read!

5. Epic Rap Battles of History

Username: epicLLOYD (season 1), ERB, ERB2 (extras)

Subscriber count: 12.9 Million

In 2010, comedic Youtubers Lloyd Ahlquist (epicLLOYD) and Peter Shukoff (Nice Peter) came up with the idea of doing a live improv show based on historical figures rap battling. The improv show was a flop, so they moved to Ahlquist’s channel to make scripted versions of the show. Almost immediately “Epic Rap Battles of History” gained momentum, and they created three more seasons. Ten of their singles are certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, and they have over two billion views on their main channel as of January 2016.

Genre: Comedy hip-hop

Songs you should check out: Bonnie and Clyde vs Romeo and Juliet, Miley Cyrus vs Joan of Arc, Mitt Romney vs Barack Obama

4. Melanie Martinez

Username: Melanie Martinez

Subscriber count: 1.04 Million

In 2012, Martinez auditioned for the televised singing competition The Voice, where she made it to the fifth week of live rounds before she was eliminated by audience vote. After she left the show, she turned to posting music videos on YouTube, and on April 22, 2014, she released her debut single “Dollhouse” with an accompanying music video that has since gained over 29 million views.

Genre: Electropop/Darkwave

Songs you should check out: Dollhouse, Cry Baby, Soap

3. Lindsey Stirling

Username: Lindsey Stirling

Subscriber count: 7.5 Million

Stirling grew up in Arizona, where she was trained as a classical violinist from the young age of five. In 2010 she auditioned for America’s Got Talent with an act that consisted of her playing violin and dancing around to the music. However, she was rejected by the judges and starting posting videos to, you guessed it, YouTube. These videos evolved to include elaborate costumes and original music. She is most known for creating instrumental songs that combine her classical training with modern electronica music.

Genre: Electronic classical crossover dubstep

Songs you should check out: Shatter Me, Crystallize, Roundtable Rival

2. Pentatonix

Username: PTXofficial

Subscriber count: 9.9 Million

Pentatonix was started in 2011 when Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying and Kirstie Maldonado, three high school students from Texas, posted a video to YouTube of an a cappella cover of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” The video went viral, and the group was advised to audition for the popular acapella show The Sing-Off. They added two members, bass Avi Kaplan and beatboxer Kevin Olusola, and went on to win season three of the show. Since then they have won a Grammy for their Daft Punk mashup and their album That’s Christmas to Me was certified platinum. Hoying and Grassi also operate a separate channel called “SuperFruit,” where they post videos weekly.

Genre: A cappella pop

Songs you should check out: Daft Punk, Can’t Sleep Love, Love Again

1. Troye Sivan

Username: Troye Sivan, TroyeSivanVEVO

Subscriber count: 3.8 Million

Sivan was only 14-years old when he started uploading videos of himself singing to YouTube. In 2007, the same year he started uploading, his videos were brought to the attention of major movie executives and he was cast as young Wolverine in the movie X Men Origins: Wolverine. Even though Sivan was working on movies, he still continued to post videos and diversify his channel, adding video blogs, skits and collaborations with other major YouTubers like Tyler Oakley. He released his debut album, Blue Neighborhood, in December 2015.

Genre: Dream pop

Songs you should check out: Happy Little Pill, Wild, The Fault in Our Stars