The 10 Unlikeliest Pop Stars Of 2011: From Betty White To Bai Ling

Mike Wass | November 14, 2011 7:49 am

Once upon a time you needed a record deal and (at least some degree of) talent to release a pop song. But those days are long gone. In 2011, all you need is a computer and a dream — and preferably a role on a reality TV show or a famous parent! Cowering in the darkest shadows of iTunes lies a growing army of heavily-Auto-Tuned divas and bored celebrities hoping to follow in the hallowed footsteps of Heidi Montag. Or at least pay their rent. Here are 10 of the year’s unlikeliest candidates for pop stardom.

In no particular order:

Bella Vida – “Kiss Kiss Me Bang Bang”

Not content with ruling the charts in Germany, David Hasselhoff has passed the torch of European musical stardom to his daughters. Together they form Bella Vida and already boast a UK record deal. In addition to releasing glorious tracks like ‘Kiss Kiss Me Bang Bang’, Taylor Ann and Hayley also work as plus-sized models and have their own reality TV show.

Traci Lords – “Last Drag”

The 43-year-old actress, who transitioned from skin flicks to mainstream roles in cult favorites like John Waters’ Crybaby, is no stranger to the music scene. She released a dance album in the mid-’90s but is back for another bit of the cherry with “Last Drag”. A video is on the way.

Bai Ling – “Rehab”

Known as much for her outrageous red carpet antics as her film roles, it was only a matter of time before the Chinese beauty branched into music. Her debut, which includes chanting in her native Mandarin and amazing lyrics like “I’m still gonna dance day and night with my sober friends”, was recorded shortly after she left Celebrity Rehab.

Countess LuAnn – “Chic, C’est La Vie”

While Kim Zolciak’s “Tardy For The Party” is still the gold standard for Real Housewives pop, the bewigged Atlanta star’s NYC-based colleague came close earlier in the year with this high-camp anthem.

Michaele Salahi – “Bump It”

What the gals of NYC can do, their counterparts in D.C. can do worse — at least if Michaele Salahi’s debut “live” performance of “Bump It” is any indication. You may or may not be happy to hear that she has an album on the way.

Chloe Lattanzi – “Play With Me”

Olivia Newton-John’s daughter polarized pop fans in July with her controversial “Play With Me” video. Snorting cocaine and repeatedly killing yourself isn’t the most obvious way to launch a music career, but it takes all sorts. Read what we had to say about her sex, drug and suicide-filled visual here.

Karissa Shannon – “Juice & Vodka”

What’s left for a Playboy model to do after allegedly making a sex tape with Heidi Montag? A trip to the studio to record a shameless “Tik Tok” rip-off, if you’re Karissa! You just know that K$ secretly approves.

Dominique – “On Top Of The World”

Dominique isn’t the first contestant from America’s Next Top Model to try her hand at pop music — that honor goes to Lisa D’Amato — but her video is one of the better efforts.

Angelina Pivarnick – “Gotta Go Out”

It was only a matter of time before one of the Jersey Shore ladies picked up a microphone. And this is pretty much as bad as expected. We just thought Snooki would get there first.

Betty White – “I’m Still Hot”

Joining the cavalcade of celebrity offspring and reality TV stars is comedy legend Betty White. She teamed up with British dance sensation Luciana to raise money for the Los Angeles Zoo and sell life insurance — as one does in their golden years. We hope it isn’t the last time she graces iTunes.

Discover a new diva to your liking? Do we have a glaring omission, pop fanatics? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter!