It’s Never Too Late! 5 Musicians Who Got a Late Start

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These days, we hear a lot about music artists who have made a name for themselves starting from a young age – pop stars like Christina Aguilera and sibling-duo Donny and Marie Osmond, for example. But don’t worry if you don’t have that kind of early-on experience – it’s never too late to start your music career! There are a number of musicians who either did not get into music until later in life or took several years to become famous.

Here are five famous musicians who got a late start in music, but have left a mark on the music industry forever:

Sheryl Crow
Crow started out as a music teacher after graduating from the University of Missouri, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. She continued to pursue her dreams, however, by playing gigs on the weekends and writing jingles for commercials. Crow didn’t reach mainstream success until she was 31 years old, when she shot to fame with her single “All I Wanna Do.” The song helped her win the Grammy award for Best New Artist in 1995.

Leonard Cohen
Cohen was born in Canada in 1934, and emerged in the music industry at the age of 33. He started as a writer but found it difficult to earn money, and turned to writing folk music full-time. He began writing for other artists, such as Judy Collins, and eventually signed with Columbia Records. His first album, “Songs of Leonard Cohen,” was released in 1967. He played various instruments including guitar, piano and synthesizer.

Al Jarreau
Jarreau got his start performing jazz in various hot spots throughout Los Angeles. He appeared on various talk shows, including Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin, to promote his career and eventually signed with Warner Brothers Records in 1975. His debut album released when he was 35 years old. Since then, Jarreau has won seven Grammy awards.

Tuli Kupferberg
Kupferberg was a poet, author and cartoonist, along with being a musician. His music career took off at the age of 40, when he co-founded the Fugs, a funk/punk band. Before that, Kupferberg was well-known for his counter-culture books “Beatniks” (1961) and “1001 Ways to Beat the Draft” (1966).

John Ondrasik
Ondrasik, also known by his stage name Five for Fighting, is yet another famousmusician that came to fame at a later age. He was born in 1965 in Los Angeles, and studied science and math at UCLA. However, he pursued music in his spare time. After performing at several small venues, Ondrasik was eventually signed by EMI records in 1997. His first album was “Message for Albert,” but it was his hit single from his second album “Superman” that brought his name to fame – when Ondrasik was 35 years old.

There are many other artists who became famous at a later age. Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, one of the biggest-selling solo artists in classical music, was 35 when he recorded his first album. Deborah Harry of Blondie recorded her first album at age 31. Opportunities abound for talented musicians these days on reality TV competitions; Susan Boyle, for example, got her break on The X-Factor at age 48. Many people think that someone who is “older” can’t make it into the music industry, but these artists prove the assumption wrong. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Photo by Kevin Burkett

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