R.I.P. Vine: 7 Pop Stars Who Found Fame On The App
The internet is still reeling from news that Twitter plans to shut down Vine as part of a company-wide restructuring. The micro-video site, which launched in 2012, will stay online, but users will no longer be able to post new content. Which comes as a blow to the thousands of budding artists that use it to promote their music and talent. Unlike most early ’10s tech relics, Vine will be remembered for being a platform that launched pop stars, comedians and random, seemingly talentless social media personalities.
Like Myspace and YouTube before it, the app has produced more than its fair share of talent. Us The Duo is widely recognized as the first Vine act to land a major label deal, but Shawn Mendes is easily the most successful artist to progress from six second videos to pop stardom. (The Canadian teen has already notched up two number 1 albums). Other heavy-hitters include “Lost Boy” hitmaker Ruth B and popular rappers Jack & Jack. I’ve rounded up a list of Vine stars that have made their mark on the music scene.
Shawn Mendes is undisputedly the King of Vine. At least when it comes to music. He leveraged his social media following to land a record deal with Island and raced straight to number one on iTunes with debut single “Life Of The Party.” It debuted at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and paved the way for bigger and better things including recent top 10 hit, “Treat You Better.”
If Shawn Mendes is the King of Vine, Ruth B is the Queen. She debuted her song “Lost Boy” as a six second video in 2014 and went viral. She independently released the full version shortly thereafter and got everyone’s attention when it reached the top 100 on iTunes. It didn’t take long for Columbia Records to snap her up and re-release the song. It ultimately reached number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has sold 1.3 million copies.
Jack & Jack
20-year-olds Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky, better known as Jack & Jack, have been on the brink of a commercial breakthrough for a while now. The rappers, who got their start on Vine, went top 20 on the Billboard 200 with debut EP Calibraska, but they are still looking for the breakout hit that will take them to the next level. New single “All Weekend Long” might just be it.
It might come as something of a surprise that Dawin got his big break on Vine. The artist/producer signed with Republic after going viral with a video and promptly scored a worldwide hit with “Dessert.” It was later remixed and rereleased with a verse from Silento, climbing all the way to 68 on the Billboard Hot 100. He followed it up with an EP called Sunday earlier this year.
As far as cultural impact goes, you could argue that Bobby Shmurda is the most influential Vine star. Not only was “Hot N*gga” a top 10, platinum-selling hit, it also introduced the world to the Shmoney dance, a dance craze that was embraced by Beyonce, Rihanna and Taylor Swift. Unfortunately, there’s no happy ending here. Bobby is currently doing jail time for conspiracy to commit murder, weapons possession and reckless endangerment.
Us The Duo
Los Angeles-based husband and wife, Michael and Carissa Alvarado, made history in early 2014 when they became the first Vine stars to get a major label record deal. They have toured with Pentatonix and won Oprah Winfrey’s seal of approval, but the duo is yet to dent the charts with their music. That hasn’t stopped them releasing three albums including this year’s Just Love.
If there’s going to be one last Vine alum to do big things, Kenzie Nimmo is a pretty safe bet. The 24-year-old has been nominated for Fan Fave Vine Musician at the iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards for Best Vine Musician at the Shorty Awards. She definitely has the vocal chops and has been independently releasing covers and originals to her growing legion of fans for the past couple of years. See her in action below.