Taylor Swift

5 Talented Singers You Can Learn From in 2016

How to become a famous singer - Taylor Swift

Ready to make 2016 your best year yet? Many vocalists stood out last year, and looking at their strategies and success stories can be a great source of inspiration — especially if you want to be famous someday! Read on as voice teacher Molly R. shares her thoughts… 


2015 was a stellar year for lots of talented and famous singers. It seemed like you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about Taylor Swift and Adele, just to name two that stand out. Singers like those two generated a lot of buzz, and who wouldn’t want that?

As we dive into 2016, it’s a great time to reflect on your goals as a singer. Do you want to be a famous singer someday? Do you want to start small, and overcome your stage fright? Do you want to learn how to write a song? Whatever your goals may be, there’s a lot you can learn from the big artists of the past year. Here are some ways you can incorporate their major successes into your own New Year’s singer resolutions!

Artist: Hozier
What You Can Learn: Collaborate


If you want to become a well-known singer within the music industry, your work is never done. Once you get yourself out there, you need to keep yourself out there!

To get extra buzz, many artists create more performance opportunities by collaborating with other singers — which can be especially effective if it’s unexpected pairing. You can learn a lot from Irish singer Hozier; check out his electrifying Grammy performance with Annie Lennox here:

On a smaller scale, you could ask another singer to be your duet partner for karaoke, or perhaps get a small group of singers together and put together a cabaret night!

Artist: Adele
What You Can Learn: Know when to rest


It’s tempting to say “yes” to everything, especially when you are just starting out. It’s great to be passionate about singing, but remember you’re human! You only get one voice, so be careful with it.

Just look at Adele, the hottest artist of the year: she underwent major vocal surgery a few years ago, yet didn’t jump back into performing right away because she wanted to take her time healing. Not only that— she has also become a proud mom and wanted to put family first!

Make it a goal to have balance in your life. Feeling worn out after a run of another musical, even though there’s another one holding auditions for vocalists next week? Ask yourself if you need a break, and really listen to your body.

Artist: Taylor Swift
What You Can Learn: Market yourself

Taylor Swift

You may have heard the advice “you gotta have a gimmick!” That’s originally from the musical “Gypsy”, and it’s often true!

Being a talented singer is one thing, but what makes you interesting to your audience? Singers need to be savvy about marketing themselves. Taylor Swift happens to be brilliant at this. We should all look to her as an expert on a variety of things! She has revamped her image completely (country to pop!), she’s always out and about with her huge fan base, and how about that “squad” of hers?

Ok, so a lot of that’s pretty hard to do if you’re… well… not Taylor. But here’s what you CAN do: get out there in your community! Offer to sing at fundraisers, nursing homes, and so on. Show that you’re a singer with character who cares about a few causes. And yes, why not build up a “squad” of your own? Make this squad filled with trusted accompanists, like voice teachers, dancers, and other singers. Connecting with a group of like-minded artists is essential for your growth!

Artists: Tori Kelly and Shawn Mendes
What You Can Learn: Keep plugging away

Tori Kelly - Shawn Mendes

YouTube is where today’s singer hopes to be noticed. But you’ll want to have a strategy in mind. Are your videos high quality? Are you posting good content? How often? What are you doing to promote your music videos? How about your audience — what are you doing to grow them? Are you cross-promoting across other social media channels, like Twitter and Instagram? These are the important questions to ask.

To get inspired, take a look at the success story of Tori Kelly! She was eliminated from American Idol, but took matters into her own hands and built up a huge YouTube following. Shawn Mendes, another great artist to learn from, got his start on Vine and now has a top 10 hit and a recording contract.

Of course, you’re not restricted to finding an audience online, or with one of those platforms specifically. The key is to keep plugging away— in any medium! Whether it’s YouTube or a local coffee shop, keep giving your best to your audience.

Now… put your learning into practice!

No matter what your resolution is as a singer, remember to bring your best vocally every time. Look at what other successful and famous singers are doing, and find what you can learn from them. Working with a great voice teacher is also key — he or she can help you become a better singer, and may even have insider advice or a network to connect you with.

Happy New Year, and happy singing!

mollyrPost Author: Molly R.
Molly R. teaches online and in-person singing lessons in Hayward, CA. Her specialties include teaching beginner vocalists, shy singers, children, teens, lapsed singers, and older beginners. She joined TakeLessons in November 2013. Learn more about Molly here!

Photos by Austen Maddox, Karen BlueEva Rinaldi, Disney | ABC Television GroupJustin Higuchi

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1 reply
  1. Allysia
    Allysia says:

    Great list! The tip with Hozier/collaborating is especially a good one. Aside from being a great way to get yourself out there, you’ll expose yourself to new ideas and styles, more tha you would have just by yourself or your band. Collaborating has been so valuable to me!


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