Justin Bieber has opened the gateway to hell.
Much like New Edition and New Kids on the Block set the stage for a slew of boy bands like Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC and 98 Degrees in the 90’s, the Biebs is doing the same today for baby-faced preteens with golden voices, girlie hair and a YouTube account.
Since Bieber exploded on the music scene just two short years ago, record labels have been scrambling to find the next…well… Justin Bieber. Shows like “American Idol” and “The X Factor” are getting in on the action as well, by lowering the minimum age for contestants to 15 and 14, respectively.
Now, it seems a few of the labels may have gotten close to finding their own little goldmines.
Cody Simpson, 14, is a fresh-faced Aussie with a sound (and hair) that has been compared to Bieber’s. He, like Bieber, was discovered on YouTube and his singles “iYiYi,” featuring rapper Flo Rida and “All Day” are climbing the charts overseas and stateside.
After a video of him performing Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” at a middle school talent show hit YouTube, Greyson Chance, 13, has been getting a lot of attention from some very big names, including Ellen DeGeneres, who signed him to her label, eleveneleven.
Heather Russell is the youngest of them all. At just 10, the Canadian singer/songwriter has landed a deal on Simon Cowell’s label thanks to her soulful voice and her YouTube videos.
Can you really blame record execs for trying to find their very own Justin Bieber? According to the L.A. Times, the 17-year-old raked in $103.7 million in 2010 from record sales, digital downloads and concert tickets. That’s a lot of dough for an industry that has lost 50 percent of its profits in the last decade.
But with YouTube creating online stars of these young crooners, it looks like anyone can find the next Justin Bieber…even you.