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The Star Search Legacy

Training Ground for Enduring Stars

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Before there was American Idol, there was the original version of Star Search. Before a brief rebirth in the early 2000's, Star Search ran from 1983-1995 as a top TV talent search. Although singers were only a small part of the talent displayed (models, comedians, actors and dancers were included as well), the show did provide the first television exposure of some top pop music stars to come. For those who wonder if any of the American Idol alumni will be lasting stars, the Star Search legacy may provide some clues. Below is information on 7 stars who got their TV start on Star Search.

  • Aaliyah


    As a child of 10 , the future R&B superstar Aaliyah appeared on the Star Search stage singing "My Funny Valentine." Just 5 years later, in 1994, she was in the top 5 of the US pop singles chart.


  • Destiny's Child


    An early incarnation of Destiny's Child, known by the name Girl's Tyme, appeared on Star Search as a rapping girl group in 1992. The group was put together by Beyonce's father Matthew Knowles. All of the girls were ages 10 or 11 at the time. It would be 6 more years before the group had involved into Destiny's Child and began hitting the pop charts.


  • Alanis Morissette


    Performing under the name Alanis Nadine, dropping her last name, the teenaged Alanis Morissette competed on Star Search in the 80's. Nearly 10 years later, after a career as a teen pop starlet in her native Canada, she became a superstar in the US with the breakthrough album Jagged Little Pill.


  • LeAnn Rimes


    LeAnn Rimes was only 8 years old when she appeared on Star Search in 1990. However, there was no mistaking her huge voice. 5 years later at the tender age of 13, she stormed the pop and country charts with her debut single "Blue."


  • Britney Spears


    11-year old Britney Spears lost in the second round of Star Search in 1992. However, she would not be discouraged. The next stop was a part in the New Mickey Mouse Club, and, in 1998, her debut single "...Baby One More Time" was released. The rest is pop music history.


  • Justin Timberlake


    1992 was also the year TV audiences got a first look at this curly-haired boy, performing as Justin Randall, from Tennessee singing country songs in a cowboy hat as a contestant on Star Search. Before long he headed to the New Mickey Mouse Club along with Britney Spears. By 1998 Justin Timberlake was hitting the charts as a member of the group 'NSYNC.


  • Usher

  • Usher Raymond IV, better known simply as Usher, was only 13 when he set a record with the longest sustained note, over 12 seconds, held by a child on Star Search. His solo debut Usher was released in 1994 when Usher was only 15, but it wasn't until his second album My Way in 1997 that Usher became a pop and r&b superstar.

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