6 Famous Musicians Who Started Out By Busking

by Tim Redford, Jan 2, 2018 . 3 min read

6 Famous Musicians Who Started Out By Busking

We all see street performers downtown and busking in high traffic public places, it’s a good way for musicians to make some money while sharpening their skills. Did you know that some of the world’s most famous musicians got their start as buskers? Here are 6 Famous Musicians Who Started Out By Busking!

B.B. King

BB King

King had a difficult life growing up. When he wasn’t at church or picking cotton in the fields, he would busk for extra change with simple 3 chord songs that he picked up from the radio and would sing along to them.

He developed a special kind of reach with his music that stayed with him from the streets all the way up into packed concert halls.

Glen Hansard

Glen Hansard singing on stage

An unlikely Oscar winner for his movie “Once” about a busker who starts a band and writes music with a girl he meets on the street. The story reflects his real life start busking on Grafton street in Dublin and all over Europe.

An example of how years of experience in front of a passing audience can give someone super powers of captivation on stage.

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

Sheeran began his career by travelling around the UK sleeping on couches; playing open mics, and busking everywhere he could find an audience who would listen. Eventually Jamie Foxx would come across him and invite him to play one at one of his house parties. His song “Shape of You”, is now the most-streamed song of all time on Spotify.

Jewel

Jewel singing on stage

Jewel spent a time living out of her van while travelling across the US playing on the streets and doing small gigs in coffee shops. Her music and songwriting took her all around the country, and eventually the world as a chart topping singer songwriter.

Beck

Famous Musicians Who Started Out By Busking

Beck deserves an award for the most varied music one artist has brought into the world. Everything from weird hip hop to experimental rock; his humble beginnings are in roots and folk music that he would play as a busker on street corners in L.A.

Tracy Chapman

Famous Musicians Who Started Out By Busking

Tracy was such a natural in her early 20s that she scored a busking pass for the lucrative Harvard Square. A fellow student discovered her. That student’s father was a record exec for a label called SBK. Due to her passion and persistence; she became a celebrated songwriter in history.

Get Out There and Play

If you’ve had the urge to get out there and play your music in front of thousands of total strangers, not only is busking great practice but as we can see from these examples it can be a possible doorway to a career with your music.

With your Roadie 2 tuner in your bag, you’ll be tuned up and ready in mere seconds.

Gather some courage and give it a try!

 



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit

Check out some other similar articles

Take advantage of our biggest backer-exclusive discounts and get your hands on this next-generation automatic tuner. Back the Kickstarter campaign today and be the first to receive the Roadie 3.

Some guitarists tend to focus solely on improving their left hand. The dirty little secret is that the left hand can only be as good as the right hand allows.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Dec 3, 2021 . 3 min read

John Lennon was one of the most beloved songwriters of his generation and was taken from us way too soon.

Frederik Nielsen
Nov 29, 2021 . 3 min read

Surprise your loved ones this year with Roadie Music’s hand-picked list of the Best Gifts for Musicians (and no, you’ll find no socks or jumpers in this guide).

Hussein El Annan
Nov 26, 2021 . 4 min read

What in the world is 432 Hz vs 440 Hz? Well, these are just two different frequencies that have sparked a debate over which is better.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Nov 15, 2021 . 5 min read

It is quite hard to pick the best 8 Willie Nelson songs. He is such a prolific writer and has written a myriad of great songs over his long career.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Oct 29, 2021 . 6 min read

These four interesting facts about sting give us some insight into the life of this celebrated musician.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Oct 22, 2021 . 4 min read

Have you ever wondered what are the 5 most used types of guitars?

Rodrigo Sanchez
Oct 18, 2021 . 4 min read

These 4 tips for writing a song on guitar will help you kickstart your creativity.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Oct 11, 2021 . 4 min read

These five interesting facts about Van Halen partly reveal a musician that was quite extraordinary.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Oct 8, 2021 . 3 min read

These five facts about jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny are quite impressive. They will shed some light on how a guitar prodigy from a small town in Missouri became the most successful and beloved jazz musician of his generation.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 24, 2021 . 4 min read

You know the saying: “Give people their flowers while they can smell them” so, in this post, we’re going to look through some of the greatest jazz guitarists playing today…

Frederik Nielsen
Sep 13, 2021 . 3 min read

Today we’re going to talk about five tips for changing chords faster on guitar. This is one of the main obstacles that beginners face when learning the guitar.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 6, 2021 . 4 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!