• Mark Mathews

5 Famous Stars that were once buskers


Ah busking, the noble art of making music on street sides, train stations and anywhere else you can rock up with an instrument and perform for the public. Lovely! I take great joy in being a part of the busking community and being a part of real, live music that aims to make the days of those passing by, that little bit brighter. But did you know there have been many a famous musician who began on the streets performing? Oh yes, there have been a ton of them and there are no doubt many more to come! Here are my top five, Ex-Buskers, to make you remember that next time you pass a performing street busker you could be passing the next big thing!

1. Ed Sheeran

Probably an obvious one as he has mentioned it on a fair few occasions, (to say the least!) but old ginger bollocks spent his formative musical years out on the streets playing tunes for loose change. With three sold out nights at the o2 under his belt, he's not done all that bad.

2. Rod Stewart

If you saw Rod busking now you'd be startled to see the multi millionaire Ex-Faces singer, but there was once a time when his raspy vocals and un-tethered fashion sense were not the big deal he later became. Hard to imagine right? Rod, busked in London, France and Spain before getting his break, so he put the hours and mileage in!

3. Tracey Chapman

During her time at University in Boston, Tracey Chapman would busk in Harvard Square for some extra money for her student life. Her unique voice was heard by a student who told her Dad. That Dad happened to be Charles Koppleman, who ran SBK Publishing. Koppleman signed her straight up and then managed to get her the Elektra deal. I mean, if that's not a great busking story I don't know what is!

4. BB King

The man that epitomises guitarists and continues to influence countless guitar players, was once a young kid busking on street corners for change. I mean, imagine seeming him back then!

5. Janis Joplin

The voice of Janis Joplin on a street corner?!WOW! That was bound to have stopped traffic! Yes, from early on the Texas (soon to be) star, was busking around the deep south right round to the west coast of California!

Have you read any decent books on songwriting? Let me know in the comments below!

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