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10 rare videos of artists before they were famous

- August 14th, 2013

One of the great things about YouTube is, it offers up historical footage that you would normally never, ever see.

This also includes video from back in the day of some heavyweight musical acts playing in front of, well, hardly anyone.

Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

It’s also clearly evident as to why they got to the heights they did after seeing and hearing some of these clips from years ago.

beforetheywerefamous

Here are 10 rare videos floating out there on the video-sharing site. There’s such an abundance of unique stuff that we’ll add some more in the weeks and months to come. (Please, feel free to add your own favourite rarities in the comments section at the bottom of this page):

Madonna, 1982

Here’s an early look at the talents of Madonna as she struts her stuff at her first-ever live performance at old New York club Danceteria in 1982, playing Everybody. She had confidence, even back then:

Rihanna, 2003

We get an early glimpse of Rihanna’s vocal chops as she belts out a version of Hero at 15 years old:

Nirvana, 1988

Prior to Nirvana were selling out arenas in the ’90s behind their hugely popular albums Nevermind and In Utero, they played a Radio Shack in Aberdeen, Wa., in 1988 in front of a few staff members. They performed Paper Cuts:

Eminem, 1991

Before Marshall Mathers became Eminem/Slim Shady, he was playing in high school talent shows. Here’s a clip from a show in 1991 (he’s in the black shirt):

Guns N’ Roses, 1986

Before Guns N’ Roses signed to Geffen Records and a year prior to their breakthrough debut album Appetite For Destruction being released in 1987, the fivesome were staples on the Hollywood club scene. Here’s their full set from the Roxy in Los Angeles on January 18, 1986:

U2, 1977

Here’s U2′s first ever appearance on Irish TV in March of 1978 performing Street Mission. Bono was 18 years old at the time, and when they filmed the spot on the show Youngline, they were actually called The Hype:

The Smiths, 1983

The Smiths hadn’t released their debut album yet, nor any singles. Here’s the iconic band playing their third gig ever, and supporting a funk band called 52nd Street at the Hacienda club in Manchester on February 4, 1983.

Destiny’s Child, 1992

Here we see a young Destiny’s Child practicing their song-and-dance moves in a backyard in 1992. Beyonce was 11 years old at the time:



LL Cool J, 1985

Young rapper LL Cool J (with DJ “Cut Creator”) is seen playing to a half-empty gym of mostly mullet-wearing, disinterested white kids at Colby College in Maine in 1985. He was 17 at the time:

The Who, 1964

The Who, then known as the High Numbers, play a hotel bar in London in 1964, prior to the release of their breakthough song, My Generation (which would be released the following year).

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2 comments

  1. Tom | August 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Loved this, thanks for sharing!

  2. John Williams | August 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    You’re welcome, Tom.

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