What Makes A Breakout Star?

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    drake-black-whiteEver wonder how some emerging artists rocket straight to the top of the game while others-irregardless of talent or hard work-just flounder around never really connecting with the path to music stardom?

    Case in point: industry newcomer Drake Aubrey Graham. In a matter of a year, Drake has skyrocketed to the top. The particularly popular rapper/singer has conquered both the charts and the hearts of his loyal following since the quiet release of his second mixtape, “So Far Gone” in February 2009. Since then Drake has taken the music industry by storm, scoring major endorsements by the game’s biggest figures (ie. Lil Wayne and Jay-Z), a record deal, and the mass exposure that even some industry vets struggle to attain. Similar success is evident in the blossoming career of Drake’s label mate Nicki Minaj, who is quickly becoming the female rapper to reckon with.

    Perhaps the biggest breakout comes from a young import by the name of Rihanna. Although Riri debuted to mediocre popularity, when she finally did managed to break out, she did it in a huge way. Rihanna is now one of the biggest international stars, as famous for her swagger as she is for her catch pop catalog.

    With that said, we are left wondering ‘whats the secret?’ How is it that these artists make it big while the vast majority see short-lived, medium success if any? We’ve pondered the question and come up with a few necessities for making it big in music. Wanna be a GIANT like Drake? Start here:




    Talent is arguably the least important factor in terms of stardom. If you are in fact lucky enough to have some talent however, the cards are stacked in your favor. Conversely, however, unadulterated talent does not in any way guarantee success. Some of the most famous and successful people in the industry today are totally lacking any discernible talent. We also recommend that you double up on your talents. Those that sing and do something else (think: dance, rap, act etc.) tend to have double the success. If you are looking to be a future GIANT, start with your talent, or what you believe to be your talent and work your way from there.


    Distinctive Look

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    It is often said that image is everything in the music industry. All of the most powerful figured in music have a look that is as distinctive as their sound.Perfect your image and then proceed to the next step.



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    Paramount to any artists success is a swag that is jackable. If no one wants to look like you, you’re probably not that hot. On the other hand if you can inspire a nation of wannabes and followers, you’ve just given your aforementioned “distinctive look” some actual currency.



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    One of our favorite pictures of Drake features him neatly groomed, set in an autumn backdrop wearing a classic pea coat; so not hip hop. Nonetheless, he is at the top of the hip hop charts, dropping successive chart toppers with the best of them. On the smash hit “Forever” Drake spits:

    Labels want my name beside the X like Malcolm
    everybody got a deal, I did it without one,
    yeah n-gga I’m about my business,
    killing all these rappers you would swear I had a hit list,
    everyone who doubted me is asking for forgiveness

    Although he has mastered the hip hop rapping rudiments, Drake also has harnessed the power of cross-over appeal. It is important to be able to reach multiple markets and most breakout artists have managed to do so. Want to be famous? Think outside the box.


    Back Up


    A huge part of breakout success is owed to an artists backing. Having a mega star to cosign your hotness is always beneficial. Many of our biggest stars at the moment had a helping hand along the lines of Jay, Wayne, Baby or some other power player.


    Sex Appeal

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    Sex sells, and today’s biggest stars are selling it! Unfortunately for some, sexiness is another huge factor in determining ones star potential. This is particularly true with regard to women. Whereas many of our most talented stars need not consider this factor, most of our most successful are capitalizing solely on their sex appeal.

    For a closer look at Drake’s climb to fame check out the trailer for his upcoming 1-hour documentary entitled “Drake: Better Than Good Enough,” airing Wednesday, June 23rd at 10p.m:

    Also, take a look at some breakout stars in this gallery:

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