These Top Artists Got Their Start As Backup Singers

Nadine Blanco | February 15, 2019 5:03 pm

Mariah Carey

When Mariah Carey was still trying to get music labels to listen to her four-song demo tape in the late ’80s, she met rising pop star Brenda K. Starr, who is best known in the U.S. for her 1987 power ballad, “I Still Believe.” Carey began providing backup vocals for Starr’s music.

mariah-carey-backup-singer
Waring Abbott/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Waring Abbott/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Starr reportedly handed Carey’s demo tape to Columbia executive Tommy Mottola and the rest, as they say, is history. Carey later covered “I Still Believe” in 1998. Starr’s original version peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, while Carey’s peaked at No. 4.