Ten pop stars who were discovered on Myspace, from Adele to Calvin Harris

The social media platform turns 20 this month and has left a rich musical legacy

Adele is one of a number super-stars who were discovered on Myspace. Getty Images
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Myspace turns 20 years old this month.

After launching in 2003, the site not only demonstrated the increasingly influential role social media would play in our daily professional and personal lives, but also functioned as a music discovery platform for future stars.

While Myspace went on to be surpassed by Facebook and X (formerly known as Twitter) over the years, its musical legacy has endured.

Here are 10 artists who were discovered on Myspace.

1. Adele

Long before headlining arenas and having her own Las Vegas residency, Adele displayed her talent to anyone who would listen.

That meant playing in small pubs in London and uploading her music on Myspace in the mid-noughties.

Someone from UK label XL Recordings eventually came across her tracks online, including a rough version of the first official single, Hometown Glory, and Adele was signed.

The rest is history.

2. Arctic Monkeys

The UK group's passionate fanbase helped get them discovered.

While the group were busy playing small gigs and releasing demo CDs, supporters took it upon themselves to upload some of these tracks to Myspace.

The songs caught the attention of Domino Recording Company, who promptly signed them in 2005.

As well as releasing seven albums, the Arctic Monkeys recently played to more than 100,000 people when headlining the Glastonbury Festival in June.

3. Calvin Harris

Before the pulsating electro sounds of 2007's Acceptable in the 80s became a UK club hit, a demo version of Scottish DJ and producer Calvin Harris's first major release did the rounds on Myspace.

The relative buzz reached the ears of Harris's future manager Mark Gillespie, who made him the first signing of his fledgling music management firm.

Harris went on to release a string of global hits, including This is What You Came For and How Deep is Your Love, becoming one of the highest-earning DJs in the music industry.

4. Avicii

Avicii has Myspace to thank for his moniker.

Because his real name, Tim Bergling, was already being used, he chose the Buddhist-inspired term Avicii as well as Tim Berg, before releasing acclaimed tracks including 2010's Seek Bromance and 2011's Fade Into Darkness.

Avicii went on to forge a successful, although ultimately tragic, career.

5. Sean Kingston

The Jamaican-American singer was another active Myspace user.

He not only uploaded mixtapes, but also tried to connect with record companies and producers.

One of those accepting his friend request was producer J R Rotem, who made Kingston the first signing of his burgeoning Beluga Heights record label.

Not long after, Kingston released his 2007 self-titled debut album, which featured the US and UK chart-topping single Beautiful Girls.

6. Lily Allen

The British pop star used Myspace as a power play against her former label, Regal Recordings.

Reportedly dissatisfied by the lack of attention to her work, she signed up to the platform and released a bunch of demo recordings online.

The quality of the music, including the hit LDN, not only gained her industry buzz and thousands of fans, it convinced the label to throw more resources at Allen's debut album by connecting her with star producers Greg Kurstin and Mark Ronson.

Released in 2006, Alright, Still went on to sell more than two million copies in the UK and earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Alternative Music Album.

7. Panic! at the Disco

The US rock group knew what they were doing on Myspace.

Before releasing their 2005 breakthrough debut album A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, Panic! at the Disco released teasers and frequently engaged with users of the platform to build a cult following.

Before disbanding earlier this year, the band released four albums and headlined arenas on world tours.

8. Kate Nash

Before becoming a UK hit, a more rustic version of Foundations by English singer-songwriter Kate Nash was available on her Myspace page.

Supported by fellow Myspace star Allen, she went on to secure a record deal in 2007 and release her UK number one debut album Made of Bricks.

9. Enter Shikari

You never know who is listening online.

While British rockers Enter Shikari were playing local gigs and uploading songs on Myspace, a DJ from Kerrang Radio came across the band online in 2005.

Alex Baker was so impressed, he streamed the track OK, Time for Plan B straight from the band's Myspace page to the radio.

Enter Shikari released their first album, Take to the Skies, in 2007 and went on to forge a successful recording and touring career.

10. Zed

The German DJ, known for hits Clarity and Spectrum, got his career break after Skrillex came across his work on Myspace in 2010.

Not only did Skrillex reportedly play Zed’s track This Year the same night he heard it online, he also invited him on his next tour the following year.

Updated: August 18, 2023, 6:11 PM